Kirklees Young Citizens: Growing a stronger Youth Council event
“I hope that Kirklees Youth Council goes on to save other people’s lives, like it saved mine.”
– the words of Georgia Power, a former member of the Kirklees Youth Council at a special event that took place in October 2018 at John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Kirklees Youth Council, and to help our young citizens look to the future.
Why did she feel so strongly about her role?
Former Youth Councillor, Georgia gave a moving presentation about how as a young person she was too frightened to go to school. She said that being part of Kirklees Youth Council had given her confidence.
Today Georgia is a councillor in Nottingham.
Who attended the event?
The “Growing a stronger Youth Council” event was opened by the Mayor of Kirklees, Cllr Gwen Lowe, and included inspiring presentations from current and former youth councillors. Many of whom have gone on to successful careers as a result of their involvement with the Youth Council.
What did they do at the event?
Participants at the anniversary event shared their own ideas and stories in a series of group discussions about how Kirklees Youth Council and their partners can support young citizens in the future. Topics included local democratic education, making more links between councillors and youth councillors, the important role of schools for involving young citizens in democracy, and debating issues that young people care about. There were also resources for schools and local organisations to take away, to help continue the conversation about the youth council’s future.
What did the current members have to say?
Evie Whittingham, who joined the youth council last year, also talked about how it had helped with her confidence, said
“I want other young people to have the amazing opportunity that I’ve had.”
Youth Council member, Khizar Akbar talked about how the youth council helped him to set up a network for young carers in Kirklees. He also talked about the bond between the youth councillors and said how it helped him to connect with councillors and MPs for the first time.
Matthew Moran, who became a Kirklees Youth Councillor last year, hosted the event. He was supported by Jacob Stelling, who recently won a Diana Award for helping other young people to learn about local democracy. Jacob introduced the Democracy Ambassadors programme, which will support young people aged 13 to 16 to better understand our democracy and how to influence change.
How can you get involved?
Young people aged 11 to 18 living anywhere in Kirklees can get involved directly by taking part in the Kirklees Youth Survey, which is open now. More information about the survey and how to take part in all the “Growing a stronger youth council” activities is available on the Kirklees Democracy Commission website: