Involving young people

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We work with young people from the Young Advisors charity and the Youth Independent Advisory Group to involve young residents

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Young Advisors are young people who work with the council and its partner services to help improve services for young people. They also sit on strategic council boards including the Children and Families Scrutiny and the Children’s Health and Well-Being committee. They are part of the charity Young Advisors.

Ida (pictured above) has been a Young Advisor since last year and this is what she had to say about the experience so far:

“Being a Young Advisor has been really great for me as it has helped me meet loads of amazing young people who do amazing stuff in the borough and in their lives. It has helped me with confidence, and to recognise how my voice as a young person matters in a room full of older people who might be more experienced than me.

As a Young Advisor we make sure we go into different spaces and offer the opinions of young people and make sure that we get our voices heard, and give other young people a chance to have their opinion on what’s working and what’s not working properly in the council”

Waltham Forest Young Advisors had a recent recruitment in December 2018 and gained 25 new accredited Young Advisors.

YIAG is a group of young people, some of whom are ex-offenders, victims of crime or come from areas where youth violence is a part of their lives. They run regular sessions at schools, pupil referral units and the youth offending service. They also engage with the police on how they deal with young people and seek to improve community safety.

The YIAG provide a youth input to the Safer Neighbourhood Board, Stop and Search monitoring group, Communities Scrutiny and the council’s Violence Reduction Partnership including the Gang Prevention Programme.

Below is a quote from one of the YIAG about their time as a member of the group:

“I met Jane Brueseke through the Youth Independent Advisory Group, which I knew I wanted to join as soon as I sat in the first meeting. Now as a result of my work with the YIAG, I’ve been involved in short films, council work and sat in advisory groups with the Mayor of London and Prince Harry. I have had so many opportunities through the YIAG, and I don’t know what I would have done without those.”

Young people can be referred to the group through a variety of services including Early Help, Youth Offending Service, and the Police, as well as a peer referral system.

If you want to find out more about the YIAG, speak to Jane Brueseke via jane.brueseke@walthamforest.gov.uk