Stevenage Youth Council Conference

03 January 2019

22 young people from three secondary schools in Stevenage attended the annual Youth Council Conference – organised by Stevenage Borough Council and YC Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire County Council’s youth service.

Students from John Henry Newman, The Nobel School and Thomas Alleynes schools attended the event which brings together school council representatives from Stevenage schools with the aim of providing young people with knowledge and skills to take back to their schools to share with teachers and their peers.

The theme for the conference, proposed by members of the youth council because of events happening in the town, was Staying Safe and workshops focused on this theme.

The three workshops that young people took part in were:

  • Mindfulness, led by Nikki Kuklys from Mind in Mid Herts, covered what mental health means, raising awareness of the levels of mental ill health amongst young people, mindfulness and dealing with feelings, challenging assumptions and controlling distracting thoughts.
  • Stopping Pathways to Crime - Understanding the causes of crime and ways we can address and prevent it as a local community and society as a whole. It helped young people think about how the media portray Stevenage and the 'actual' Stevenage: offending rates amongst young people are down, drug abuse amongst young people is down and academic achievement is up.
  • Anger Management, led by Neil Baker from Stevenage Borough Council - looked at the interrelationship between anger and fear and the effect it has on the body, coping mechanisms to deal with anger and fear, the 'Conflict Cycle' (how one event leads to another) and how to break the conflict cycle to lead to resolution.

Stevenage Youth Council is a forum for young people’s voices and opinions within Stevenage. Youth council members discuss and campaign on issues that affect young people and proactively make change happen themselves by approaching organisations that have an effect/impact on them. It meets weekly, term time.

Stevenage Youth Mayor, Ugo, said: “Delegates are encouraged to feed back what they have learnt here into their own school councils, teachers and peers. That way, the knowledge of these important issues is shared with as many young people as possible”.

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