WEEKLY COLUMN BY THE STAFFORDSHIRE YOUTH COMMISSION
Staffordshire’s youth population is huge, with 35% of the county aged under 30 years old.
That’s over a third of the county that are often misrepresented or not represented at all. Younger generations are, without fail, misunderstood and stereotyped. It’s been that way for as long as most of us can remember.
After all, it’s not until we’re 35 years old with a husband, 2.4 kids and salaried employment that we’re made to really feel as though we’ve made it through to the other side of societal acceptance. But is that fair?
Youth may equal inexperience to some but surely young people will have the answers to the burning questions surrounding the younger generations that politicians have been trying to answer since the beginning of time? Aged just 20 years old myself, I definitely think we can. We’re living, experiencing and breathing it – it’s our world and it’s all we’ve ever known – and so of course we have the answers.
This is where the Staffordshire Youth Commission comes in. The county’s Youth Commission was established in 2016 with funding from the Police, Fire and Rescue, and Crime Commissioner. The aim? To give young people across Staffordshire a platform to have their voices and opinions heard by key decision makers.
“It’s important the needs, concerns and the voices of youngsters are serviced by young people themselves.”Matthew Ellis, Staffordshire Commissioner
Fast forward three years and the project has developed significantly. Since 2016, over 5,000 young people have been surveyed and over 100 educational workshops have been delivered across the county. We also have over 30 volunteers working with us. If you fancy getting involved, you can apply here.
The Youth Commission prioritizes issues to work on each year, ranging from mental health to knife crime. Our weekly column with StaffsLive will share how we are exploring these issues and influencing social change, through the design and delivery of fun workshops, exciting campaigns and innovative surveying.
I look forward to telling you all about some of our upcoming projects next week!
Olivia – Staffordshire Youth Commission Project Coordinator