The Fenland Youth Advisory Board (YAB) is made up of young people aged 11 – 24 who want to help tackle the issues young people in Fenland feel strongly about. They meet monthly (currently on Zoom) and have various working group meetings too. The YAB also have partnership meetings with professionals. These meetings may include people like the police, county and district councillors, teachers and other organisations.
There are two key stages we follow in order to help young people tackle the issues they feel need sorting. First they consult with other young people, and then they commission various organisations to help with these issues.
Advisory Board Projects
This is some work the YAB have done so far:
1. Consultation. The YAB consulted with young people in the four Fenland secondary schools. They presented the students with ten issues young people face and asked them to pick two they felt strongly about. The outcome of this was that young people in Fenland felt bullying and mental health were the top issues they face.
2. Commissioning. The board have a commissioning budget to spend to help splice these issues. Here are a few examples of what the YAB have commissioned to help with the issues of bullying, mental health, and Covid support:
- Bullying: Tootoot. This is software that schools can download for students to report incidents in school anonymously. Schools can also use the software to send surveys out to students, and for various other messaging.
- Mental Health: YPCS Toolkit. The Young People’s Counselling Service was commissioned to work on a Mental Health Toolkit. This toolkit will give young people activities to focus on their mental health and hopefully improve it.
- Craft activities for children during the first lockdown. This was for children to have activities to do while being asked to stay home, while also taking some time out to focus on something other than the Covid situation.
- Tablets for year ten students. These tablets allowed year ten students who were studying for their GCSEs to complete online work if they did not previously have access to a device at home.
- The YAB is currently working on developing a wellbeing project for secondary schools alongside Living Sport and YPCS.
More recently, the YAB have noticed food poverty is a massive issue and have started some amazing work around this. They are:
- Developing a food poverty website where people can have access to recipes and find out what support is available.
- Consultation with secondary schools about young people’s awareness of food poverty.
- Planning a food poverty conference that will be led by young people. We hope this can take place in the summer.
- In the last few weeks, the YAB have been successful in obtaining two grants for a project to provide Pizza Kits for families across Fenland. These kits will include all the ingredients to make a pizza, and some utensils too.
The Fenland YAB have achieved so much. The board have a really strong voice and continue to make a difference, even during this challenging time. We have also just established a YAB in East Cambs, and we can’t wait to start working with another amazing group of young people.
If you are interested in joining the Fenland Youth Advisory Board, please register your interest on our website by clicking this link https://yep.20twentyproductions.co.uk/register
If you want to find out more, email email@example.com and have your voice heard.
WORDS Max Louth
Youth Participation and Creative Learning Coordinator
20twenty Productions CIC