Youth conference 2020 - 55 year 9 & 10 pupils (6 secondary schools),
10 HSDC Alton College students, 12 Youth Workers, 7 teachers, 5 panel experts
In September 2019 we restarted our Youthlink project having obtained a 5 year grant from The Big Lottery. Youthlink is about making connections, bringing together anyone who works with young people to share knowledge, best practice and support each other to tackle issues that affect young people in our area.
At a strategic level: Youthlink feeds into the East Hampshire Strategic Children and Young People's Partnership, which looks at trends and issues across the region to identify and fill gaps in provision eg counselling. The Partnership is made up of senior members who have a strategic focus including CAMHS, Children's Service, Police, Youth Offending Team and Education representatives to name but a few. We have hosted and been involved in three of these Strategic Partnership meetings since the start of September with an attendance of 24.
Including Young People in the discussion: We also held our Annual Youth Conference for groups of year 9&10 students from East Hampshire secondary schools. This year it was held on 11 February 2020 with a group of students from HSDC Alton College working alongside The King's Arms and HCC Children's Services to design the overarching theme and configuration of the day - the theme chosen was Stress. Two students from the College led the day with support from other HSDC Alton College students - they all stepped up to the challenge to help create a worthwhile day - they were awesome! The day included games, workshops, discussions, videos clips and speakers. The conference was also supported by a panel of experts inviting questions from the audience.
Supporting Youth Workers: We spent some time this year designing a new forum - Youth Workers Together - aimed at Youth Workers in East Hampshire who provide hands on/front line support to young people. Unfortunately the first forum which was to be held on 24th March had to be cancelled due to COVID-19. The forum is in the process of being redesigned to allow it to be held on zoom going forward. Identifying the issues facing young people: We have been capturing data from various events regarding what issues face
young people in the East Hants area. This information will help us to shape our thinking when looking at what we are providing to the young people, and enable us to spot any gaps that need targeting. From the data so far, overwhelmingly the top issue is anxiety/mental health.
Keeping in touch: The Youthlink team also attend forums hosted by other groups and organisations and send out a
quarterly Youthlink newsletter.