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Young People Recognised For Campaigning Work

28 March 2018

On Saturday, the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Youth Commission brought together young people, the Police and Crime Commissioner, Hampshire Constabulary and a wide range of stakeholders at their recognition conference in Winchester.  80 people attended to hear what they had achieved through campaigning on a range of issues.

Along with the Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire, the Commissioner and Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney from Hampshire Constabulary were Y Services, Public Health, No Limits, The Blagrave Trust, Hate Crime Reporting Centres, Isle of Wight Youth Trust and many more.

This year their priorities are Mental Health, Cyber Safety, Hate Crime, and Unhealthy Relationships.  Youth Commission members also ran stalls with interactive games to engage the delegates with their work.  The individual contributions from members were also recognised, and the Commissioner presented them with certificates.

During the conference, those attending were asked to make pledges on how they could support the Youth Commission’s work.  Here are just a few examples of their pledges:

I pledge to help keep people safer by…

  • “Identifying partnership opportunities for supporting young people with mental health issues”
  • “Rally MPs and promote the Youth Commission on social media”
  • “Giving young people a voice and allowing them to make decisions to improve their future”
  • “Continuing to build a great partnership between Public Health and the Youth Commission”

Youth Commission member Alison Romaine, aged 19, from Fareham said: “The conference today has brought decision makers together with us to hear young people’s voices.”

Bekki Dunn aged 19, a Youth Commission member from Winchester said:

“It was great to hear from professionals and what they can do to implement our recommendations.”

Michael Lane, Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “At this conference, the Youth Commission have challenged us to have new ideas and join them on their campaigning.

“These young people are determined, thoughtful, and bright; they do valuable work and they encourage us for the next generations behind them.

“This is a good day and explains why the Youth Commission are such a high priority for me.”

During the conference, delegates were shown that the Youth Commission had consulted over 3,600 young people for their views on policing and safety issues, and they have been working alongside the Commissioner to promote awareness of Hate Crime and launch the Third Party Reporting Centres.  45% of young people they spoke to said that mental health was their top priority and the Youth Commission’s recommendations in this area which have now all been included into Public Health’s new strategy:

Youth Commission’s Mental Health Recommendations

  1. Deal with issues such as abuse and bereavement correctly to reduce trauma developing into mental illness.
  2. Ensure there is help available, no matter how severe or small the case is; examine the guidelines on when things are ‘bad enough’ to give help.
  3. Introduce a helpline, local website and tool kit of resources, and promote existing apps.
  4. Provide appropriate peer education on self-harm and mental illnesses from year 7, including education on the signs, where to get help, coping strategies and building resilience.
  5. Professionals to ensure they aren’t judgemental when someone discloses to them, and that they always take the disclosure seriously.

Over the rest of the year, the Youth Commission members will be working hard to promote their priorities and support young people in getting their voices heard.  You can see them at the Isle of Wight Pride, FitFest events, and Freshers Fairs.

Young people can register their concerns, views and ideas with The Big Conversation survey, which informs the work and priorities of the Youth Commission.

The Youth Commission will be recruiting for new members in the Autumn.