Young people from across Wiltshire have been sharing their views and ideas with key decision makers as part of a ‘Your County – Your Say’ youth summit.
The summit at Devizes School was planned and delivered by a team of young people who work with Wiltshire Council, Healthwatch Wiltshire and Wiltshire Police.
A range of workshops were held on topics including emotional wellbeing and mental health, the art of successful campaigning and lobbying, health services in school and policing matters including creating a safe society.
Sam Gallacher, Wiltshire Assembly of Youth member and student at University Technical College in Salisbury said: “It’s been a useful day and given me a lot of ideas to back to college with to see if we can make some changes. For example in school nursing. It’s important that young people get their voices heard in this way.”
Laura Mayes, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for children’s services attended the event, listening to young people’s views.
She said: “This event is raising the issues that young people face on a daily basis and making sure we take into account young people’s voices in our society and local communities. I have been impressed with the commitment and involvement of young people from across our county and I’m looking forward to ensuring this sharing of ideas helps shape decisions into the future.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson said: It has been really good to hear young people’s views on the service they receive from Wiltshire Police.
“Talking with the young people has highlighted some of the issues they are facing in their lives, including the risks around social media and cybercrime. It is important to ensure that the police don’t judge a book by its cover. Young people make a valuable contribution to our communities, we need to get to know our young people, understand the issues they face and be ready to listen to their concerns.
Assistant Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said: “The Youth Summit has been a fantastic opportunity to speak to some of Wiltshire’s young people, discussing the issues that they feel matter most to them and learning how we can engage with them more effectively.
“These young people shape the future of our communities and it is so important we take the opportunity to work closely with them and understand the concerns that they may have.
“It has been great to hear young people’s thoughts and ideas, their enthusiasm and desire to get involved has been inspiring and much of the feedback we have received from the attendees will help shape decisions for the future.”
Ted Wilson, Community and Joint Commissioning Director for Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group said, “We are always interested in hearing from young people about health services and this event provided an invaluable opportunity for the CCG to meet and hear what they had to say about health services. They raised some pertinent questions during the panel session around access to service and the flexibility of how those services are provided. The information gathered during the discussions will be taken into consideration as we develop services further. We hope this will be the beginning of regular discussions with young people to help us shape services to meet their needs.