A new forum to give a voice to the county’s young people has met in person for the first time.
The Hampshire County Council Youth Forum was first created virtually in early 2021 (during the pandemic), by the County Council Cabinet Members for Children’s Services at that time, Councillors Patricia Stallard and Roz Chadd, in collaboration with the members of the Hampshire Youth Parliament. It was established as a way of listening to the diverse voices and opinions of young people across the county.
Following the forum’s first in-person meeting, Deputy Leader of Hampshire County Council, and Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Chadd said:
“This is an important step in establishing a regular dialogue between our elected representatives in the Youth Parliament and other decision makers, especially about the impact that the Coronavirus pandemic has had on them and their peers personally, on their mental health and their education. Meeting in person was something we’d all looked forward to, and we have been able to share views on mental wellbeing, and GCSE and A-Level examination reforms.
“Young people are firmly in the driving seat as uniquely, the forum is chaired by a Member of the Youth Parliament, and with input from councillors including the County Council’s Leader, Councillor Rob Humby, Meon Valley MP Flick Drummond and other decision makers.”
Chairing the meeting was Dmitrijs Meiksans, the Member of Youth Parliament for North West Hampshire. Reflecting on the session, he said: “It was a great opportunity for the young people themselves to directly give their views and opinions to key influencers from across a variety of statutory bodies, who make decisions on a day-to-day basis, which will impact on the future of all young people. The Youth Forum is crucial to ensure that any decisions that the representatives make are informed with young people’s views in mind.”
Any young people aged 11-18 and who live or go to school in Hampshire, that are interested in joining the Youth Forum, should email Hello@hampshireyp.org.uk to register their interest.