Tameside’s vision is that all children, young people and their families feel they are fully engaged and valued members of the community, with a voice to influence and shape key decisions and policies which are important to and affect their lives. That all children, young people and their families are aware of how their opinions are used and changes to policies and services are fed back in an appropriate manner.
Tameside Youth Forum | Tameside Young Inspectors| Get Involved and Have Your Say | Participation Strategy | Contact Information
Tameside Youth Forum
Fifty seven young people have started to shape how young people can get involved in decision making in Tameside at a special, weekend residential course that took place in Chester in May this 2010. This involved representatives from the youth service, voluntary groups and secondary schools.
A Youth Forum has now been set up and young people across the borough are being encouraged to get involved in giving views on decisions that will affect their future. Over the course of the weekend young people received training to understand Participation, decision making in action and understanding different models of working Youth Forums.
At the residential event in May, there was a ‘Question Time’ session where young people will debated issues that affect their lives and how they would like the Forum to look. Amongst the panel addressing these important questions were senior staff from Services for Children and Young People including Executive Director, Jim Taylor and Head of the Youth Service Sue Nathan, as well as Police Chief Superintendent Zoe Sheard. Seven models were debated on how young people would like to operate a youth forum across Tameside. These models were presented to the Question Time panel and followed with the young people democratically voting for the Youth Forum they felt would best meet the needs of young people in Tameside.
This is an exciting time for the project as young people are now beginning to develop ways for more young people to get involved with the Forum and to promote the influence young people can have in Tameside. It is hoped that in the near future Tameside will see its own local election for young people to sit on the Youth Forum. The model that was selected is as follows
Tameside Youth Forum Model
Regional Youth Parliament
Tameside Youth Forum
Dukinfield, Stalybridge and Mossley District Forum
Audenshaw, Denton and Droylsden District Forum
Hyde, Hattersley and Longdendale District Forum
School Councils, Pre-existing Youth Forums, Youth Groups, Equalities Key Groups, Children and Young People
What is it?
The past two decades have seen significant changes in how services for children and young people are delivered, with further reforms afoot. A consistent theme of these changes has been a growing demand for the views, wishes and feelings of children and young people to be at the heart of service reform.
Involving young people in assessing and evaluating the services they use or want to use is one of the best ways of finding out if the service is really making a difference to them. Young people will have a unique view about the service or project. They will know what works and what doesn’t, and what could be improved or done differently. Their insider’s view can highlight unexpected outcomes and identify barriers to using or making the most of a service. Youth inspection is a tool for service improvement where young people are supported to systematically assess service provision and make recommendations for positive change. It aims to improve outcomes for young people by supporting services to be more effective, equitable and accessible.
In practice, groups of young people are recruited and trained to be Young Inspectors. Gaining key skills in service assessment, communication and working in groups, they undertake an inspection of provision used by children and young people, for example in health, housing, social care or advice services. They then provide a series of recommendations on how the service can be improved to be more effective and better able to improve outcomes for them, their peers and the wider community. Often the Young Inspectors work with staff, managers and other young people on how to best implement the recommendations before returning for a follow-up visit.
Young Inspectors further information
Takeover Day gives children and young people the chance to work with adults for the day and be involved in decision-making. Children benefit from the opportunity to experience the world of work and make their voices heard, while adults and organisations gain a fresh perspective on what they do.
The last Children's Commissioner's Takeover Day coincided with Remembrance Day 2011, and encouraged people taking part to incorporate remembrance activities into their programme. We hope this will help break down barriers between generations and encourage children's active involvement in their communities.
Who can be part of it?
Organisations across every sector can be part of Children's Commissioner's Takeover Day.
What happened in Tameside?
10 young people from Tameside Youth Forum took over Tameside MBC for the day. Their roles covered a number of different areas including:
- Executive Director for Children, Learning and Economic Services
- Assistant Executive Director Specialist Services and Safeguarding
- Assistant Executive Director People & Organisation Design
- Assistant Executive Director Finance
- Tameside Patrollers
The young people met the Mayor Cllr Susan Quinn, had a tour of the Mayor’s Parlour and visited the Council Chambers to learn about democracy in Tameside.
Everyone involved had the opportunity to work with Organisation Development to explore issues of youth unemployment. This began a consultation to support young people in to employment.
The session gave young people the opportunity to discuss Tameside’s approach to supporting young people. It discussed the current and future offers in terms of works experiences’, apprenticeships, internships, NVQ’s in supporting the development of Tameside’s offer to young people
The day ended with young people meeting with the Executive Director Children Learning and Economic Services and the Senior Head of School Support and Partnerships. Young people were able to discuss their experiences of the day, what they felt had worked and what could be improved. This was also an opportunity for young people and Senior staff to discuss real issues faced by young people in Tameside in order to raise the voice of children and young people with decision makers.
Get Involved and Have Your Say
Tameside Council is committed to listening to local people. Services can only get better if the people that use them are able to have a say about how they are delivered.
This page brings together the key ways in which you can get involved and have your say in Tameside.
Remember, whenever you see the 'Have Your Say!' logo it is your chance to get involved in local decision-making.
Youth in Action – Young Enquirers
The project’s objectives were to promote young people’s active citizenship with a key focus of the project to develop solidarity and promote tolerance among young people, in particular in order to foster social cohesion in the European Union. Through the development of the project young people from mainly white British and Asian heritage led on the development of a philosophical enquiry, cross sector training package to be used to challenge current beliefs and values. Young people put in to practice their solutions to bringing communities together to focus on similarities and address racist and xenophobic views.
Forty Five young people developed the skills required to foster a culture of community cohesion. This was developed through team building, icebreaker and learning facilitation skills, group management cooperation models of leadership, anti discriminatory practice and a clear vision of the advantages on a strong and cohesive community. Young people developed the ability to get groups to think about their roles and responsibilities to create a just, fair, inclusive and democratic society that can look outward with greater confidence.
The programmes main focus was to create critical dialogue in a safe environment with young people from diverse communities. This enabled the group to openly explore the origins of people’s prejudice and intolerance to begin to build the foundations for mutual respect and a cohesive community. The progress of young people’s journey through out this process was documented through the use of film in order to widen the impact of learning outcomes to the wider community in Tameside and beyond.
The project held a 1 day meeting of young people and those responsible for youth policy. This focused on how young people developed the project and aimed to give decision makers an insight to the challenges young people had to overcome.
The attached document Who am I? discusses the learning of the young people involved. Download Who am I document (1.28MB)
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission and British Council.
This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the European Commission and British Council cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
For more information about getting involved in shaping the future for young people aged between 11 and 18, or for information on any of the above work then contact: