The Staffordshire Youth Commission has been busy this week, as it unveiled its new priorities for 2019 and was handed over to a new facilitating company.
Safer Communities CIC, a Stone-based social enterprise, has been granted a three year contract to support the Staffordshire Youth Commission’s work from 1st February 2019.
The news was confirmed today via the Staffordshire Youth Commission’s Twitter page (@Staffs_YC) which posted: “From today, the #StaffsYC is being delivered by @SaferCic. A huge thank you to @LeadersUnlocked for their support over the last two years and for making us into what we are today. Here’s to making 2019 bigger and better than ever! @StaffsPFCC @StaffsPolice @StaffsFire.”
James Hettihewa-Young, the Prince’s Trust Delivery Partner Manager will be at the forefront of supporting the successful youth project.
He said: “We are delighted to be supporting the work of the Youth Commission for the next three years as they continue to grow their expertise and the positive impact that they make to our communities.
“Safer Communities CIC input will be to help facilitate and nurture this growth and connect the youth commission to local, regional and national partners to support their work. This will link heavily into our partnerships in education and youth training with chairities such as The Prince’s Trust.”
Youth Commissioner and Policing student at Staffordshire University, Rhys Bickman, is excited about the opportunities that Safer Communities CIC can provide for the Staffordshire Youth Commission.
He said: “It’s exciting. At first we were afraid of the change, but it looks like there’s going to be great opportunities and to develop and expand.
“We want to raise awareness of important issues amongst young people in our county and Safer Communities CIC have the partnerships and contacts in the local area to help us to do this.
Rhys also revealed the Staffordshire Youth Commission’s new priorities for 2019. He added: “We’ve had a couple of meetings over the past couple of months. This year we have merged some of our priorities from both our first and second year as we feel like there’s still more work that needs to be done.
“We have Abuse and Bullying this year, where we will conduct our research specifically in Domestic Violence, Abuse and Child Sexual Exploitation, Cyber-bullying and Online Safety. We’re continuing with Knife and Gang Crime where we will be specifically looking at the laws and how to change lives away from crime. We’ve resurrected Drugs and Alcohol Abuse from our first year, also.”
The Youth Commissioner continued: “After the impact of our Hate Crime video, we have created a new priority called Divided Communities, which will look at Hate Crime, Community Breakdown, and Stereotyping and Trust.
“We’ve been planning a huge campaign for our Hate Crime video for 2019, which we hope will reach a national scale. It’s exciting because it includes community events so we can involve everyone.
“For 2019, we will be looking at Mental Health as a consistent theme, almost like an umbrella, within all of our priorities.”
Leaders Unlocked, who facilitated the project from its origin in 2016, welcomed the project’s change in delivery.
Rose Dowling, director of London-based Leaders Unlocked, told StaffsLive: “I see the potential of Safer Communities CIC facilitating greater partnerships, getting more diverse people involved with the project from the other various programmes they work with, developing links with the Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, and I welcome the idea that it’s going to become bigger and better and more embedded locally in the years to come.
“I think that there is a real opportunity to deepen the impact of the Staffordshire Youth Commission within the Staffordshire region and tie it more closely with what is happening locally.
“I am really proud of the Staffordshire Youth Commission and it’s hard to pick out a specific time they have made me proud but the showcase of their hard-hitting Hate Crime film and roadshow and their work with credible speakers to educate about Knife and Gang Crime at their Big conversation 2018 conference was incredible. It was a really special moment for me. I can’t wait to see how the project continues.
“I’m also really pleased that the decision has been taken to continue working with our excellent co-ordinator, Olivia Lucas, because they can obviously see how much Olivia has led the Staffordshire Youth C to be the success it is today and I think that continuity is vital in order to keep members highly motivated and keep the transition really smooth.”
The Staffordshire Youth Commission was set up in 2016 by the Staffordshire Commissioner, Matthew Ellis, to engage and consult with young people regarding Police, Fire and Crime issues that are important to them.
The Youth Commission consists of members aged 14-25 years from a range of backgrounds across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. The Commission represents the voice of young people in Staffordshire and makes a difference to youth issues, being involved in policing and having a say about how crime is tackled.
Existing Youth Commission members come from a hugely diverse group of organisations across Staffordshire, including the Prince’s Trust, YMCA, Youth Offending Team, Children in Care, schools, colleges and universities, and the group is looking to expand in the coming months for just one area of its proposed development project plan for 2019.