Case Study: Aycliffe Youth Council

by maxineg on Thu, 2011-02-24 09:30
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Working with the Council on Town Pride Week

The Youth Councillors designed, presented and worked with the council to improve their area

What was the issue raised?    

Following a large questionnaire survey by the Town Council and a consultation exercise with the local County Council the Environment was chosen as a priority for our area.  The Youth Council organised a Town Pride Week working with the local schools, the Town Council, Town Councillors and Volunteers.  The aim of Town Pride Week was to raise awareness around litter issues and target a number of areas to litter pick.  
It was called Town Pride for 2 reasons; 1) The Town Council have a Town Pride Team which undertake many jobs to try and improve the area and 2) to try and get the residents of Aycliffe to actually Take Pride in their Town.

What did you do about it?    

The Youth Councillors designed and gave presentations to the local junior schools one week and the following week went back and took the school out to undertake a litter pick near the school.  The Youth Council designed posters to be put into notice boards and for each school taking part.

Who or what helped you?
    

Officers from the Town Council and a number of Town Councillors helped with the presentations and to supervise events.  Tom Hunter one of the youth councillors registered the events with the Tidy Britain Group which provided some equipment.  The Youth Council purchased some litter pickers and a local company, Sterling Safety provided gloves.  The two local newspapers gave coverage of the events to raise awareness of the campaign.

What were the challenges?    

  • Raising awareness for members of the public.  
  •  Logistics in general, timing of events, schools and pupil availability.
  • Getting to and from events (transport).
  • Getting the presentations right for the target age group; making them interesting yet informative.
  • Some Youth Councillors were on holiday the week of the actual litter picks so having enough young people to cover the events took a little organising.
  • As part of the presentations we also wanted to raise awareness of Aycliffe Youth Council.

What’s changed or is better as a result?    

  • More people know about the Youth Council.
  • The litter picks were a great success.
  • The primary school children understood and listened to the presentations.
  • Improved relationships with schools, members of the public and other young people.
  • ittering in these areas has reduced.

How do you know?  

  • When the Youth Council elections were taking place more people were interested.
  • When undertaking the litter picks many members of the public stopped and commented that it was great seeing the young people doing such a positive activity.
  • Some of the more prominent youth councillors are getting recognised more and have people of all ages speak to them on a wide range of matters.
  • When we were doing the litter picks the younger children referred to the presentations and remembered some of the facts. 
  • Everyone enjoyed taking part and had fun during the events.
  • The Youth Council have been asked to hold the event again this year.
  • The Town Pride Team continue to litter pick all areas and have noticed a general improvement in key areas.


What happens next?    

The Youth Councillor evaluated the event and agreed what had worked well and what could be improved.  It was agreed it would be a good idea to hold the Town Pride Week again.  However, it was also agreed to supplement this with bulb planting and the development of wild flower meadows.  Bulb planting has already taken place in a number of areas and the Youth Councillors worked with a Local Cub Group, Town Council Officers, The Rotary and Volunteers.
The time for Town Pride Week has to be agreed.
The wild flower planting will take place early April, the Town Council’s Environment Officer and Youth Councillors are to co-ordinate with local schools.  The Youth Council have agreed to purchase some wild flower plugs.
The presentations for Town Pride Week need to be updated and put onto powerpoint to give more impact in the primary schools.
Publicity about Town Pride Week is to be used at local events to continue to raise awareness.
Publicity in general about the Youth Council and what it does needs improving.

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