MENTAL wellbeing, confronting sexism and homophobia, disruption to education, and improving public transport were some of the subjects discussed by young people at the first ever Tameside Youth Summit.
Designed and run by the members of the Tameside Youth Council with representatives from a number of schools and colleges in the borough, the event – held at Hyde Town hall on Monday 15 November – gave young people in attendance the opportunity to share their experiences of the coronavirus pandemic and what is important to them as the borough looks to build back better, fairer and greener.
The afternoon session of the Youth Summit then saw a number of local leaders and decision makers, including Tameside Council Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington and Tameside Council Chief Executive Steven Pleasant, join the event to discuss with our young people the issues that were raised earlier on in the day.
This culminated in the drafting of a “Pledge Card” by every adult in attendance stating what they would do, both personally and within their organisations, to improve the lives of all young people in Tameside. The Youth Council will contact everybody who made a pledge in six months’ time to see if they’ve succeeded in turning them into action.
Some of the potential solutions discussed by young people and local leaders and decision makers in attendance included providing better mental health support through teacher training, wellbeing activities and “safe spaces”, strengthening youth councils in schools so that young people feel like they have a voice in their own education, doing more to tackle sexist, homophobic, transphobic and racist bullying, especially on social media, and introducing more regular timetables for public transport.
Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington said: “I was delighted to be able to listen to our young people at the Tameside Youth Summit.
“We know that young people are bearing the brunt of the economic and social impact of the coronavirus pandemic, particularly in terms of disruption to their education. Young people are also particularly aware of and concerned about the impact of climate change and rising inequality.
“For these reasons it’s absolutely right that as leaders and decisions makers we listen to the concerns and issues of our young people, and do what we can to understand what the past eighteen months have looked like through their eyes.
“Thank you to the Tameside Youth Council for organising this event, and I look forward to delivering on our pledges to them over the next year”.