Young people from across Oldham united at the borough’s first Over To Youth summit this month.
Four events took place over a week of youth voice action highlighting the national and global issues that are important to them.
The week was rounded off with 350 attendees from youth-related organisations at Oldham’s inaugural Youth Mayor’s Ball, where the Oldham Youth Voice Family* have raised more than £1,200 for homelessness charity Real Change Oldham.
Last year saw 11,500 local young people vote on the issues they care about, via the largest youth UK consultation, the Make Your Mark ballot.
Mental health, putting an end to knife crime and protecting the environment were among the top concerns, which align similarly to views of young people across the country. Each of these areas had their own dedicated event throughout the week across various locations in Oldham, with more than 400 young people attending.
More than 3,000 local young people also took part in one of the largest consultations ever seen in the UK to help tackle mental health issues. The findings will be used to help Oldham Council provide a better mental health service for its young people, such as mental health nurses now working in almost every school in the borough.
Oldham’s Youth Mayor Ball, hosted by Youth Mayor, Samah Khalil, was a celebration of youth triumph including entertainment, fundraising and the inaugural Oldham Inspirational Young Person’s Awards.
The award winners included Alexander Dana, Tayler Keogh-Wroe and Ella Longshaw, with performances from Oldham Theatre Workshop, the Natraj Dance Academy and singers 3Bless and Seb Lowe.
“Our Over To Youth summit was an incredible week where young people took centre stage to have meaningful discussions with decision-makers, reach out to more young people and celebrate wonderful and inspiring achievements.
This is far from the end, this is just the beginning of our conversation with those who can make improvements locally and nationally. I hope we’ve inspired more young people to get involved because we can all make a positive difference together as we are the future of this borough.”
(Samah, aged 19)
Over To Youth was supported by Oldham Council and the Oldham Opportunity Area.
“I could not be prouder of the young people of Oldham and our Youth Mayor for arranging an amazing and inspiring week.
We must listen and act upon the concerns of our young people because they have told us loud and clear what they want us to focus on. We are committed to ensuring the views of our young people are at the heart of everything we do because they are our greatest asset and Oldham must be a place where children and young people can thrive.”
(Councillor Amanda Chadderton, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services)