Young people have helped influence a new benchmark which raises the bar for how youth services are delivered across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
The new Youth Charter, which was officially launched today, was co-created by young people alongside the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Violence Reduction Partnership as part of a continued drive to support young people in having a positive impact in their communities and preventing serious violence.
It also invites youth workers and organisations that work with young people to pledge their commitment to a set of standards designed by young people themselves.
The Youth Charter includes plans to help motivate young people to achieve, build better community relationships and empower young people to use their voice and have a positive influence on their communities.
Rejoice Amieghemen is one of the young people who helped create the Youth Charter and is now set to join a delegation visiting youth clubs across Nottinghamshire to help promote the benefits of signing up.
The 17-year-old, of Bestwood Park, was a service user at Support Through Sport, based at the Forest Recreation Ground, before becoming a Community Sports Coach at the organisation.
She believes her experience of developing her potential at a local youth club demonstrates the importance of having good standards in youth provision and the positive impact in can make on young people.
“The aim of the Youth Charter is to ensure young people have a choice and a voice, making sure they are respected and in a safe environment where they know there are development opportunities and progression in that youth club,” she said.
“From a youth club point of view it gives them standards to follow to ensure that organisation is working to a good standard that gives young people confidence in them - so altogether it benefits everyone.
“I hope it is something that can be rolled out across the country to have as a standard that youth clubs must use. The values that it has are so important in what makes a good youth club.”
Gemma Seed is a training an engagement coordinator at Imara, an organisation which provides therapeutic services for children and young people affected by sexual and domestic abuse.
She said the Youth Charter would show that organisations listen to and value young people.
“It will provide young people with confidence about the services they are going to receive support from,” she said.
“It is designed by young people, for young people. That is so important because it means the youth service is formed around what young people actually want. It proves organisations are listening and it feels like it is an accreditation as there is a standard to follow.”
The project has been coordinated by the Violence Reduction Partnership, which aims to bring together and commission services from partners across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire to help prevent serious violence.
Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry, who leads the Violence Reduction Partnership, thanked the young people who had played a part in creating the Youth Charter at the launch event at Nottingham City Council’s Council House today.
“The insight of young people is invaluable when it comes to shaping how youth services should be delivered. By being part of this project, these young people have helped raise the bar in youth service provision across the city and county,” said Commissioner Henry.
“To reduce serious violence effectively we need services that work for young people; we need to understand their needs and ensure that they keep engaging with the services we are providing.
“This Youth Charter will also help ensure that we continue to fund youth organisations that are committed to the best standards.
“Youth workers play such a crucial role in helping divert young people from crime and antisocial behaviour, engaging them in positive activities and opening doors to new opportunities. Having this Youth Charter as a benchmark, with young people involved in its creation, will help ensure we keep hitting the right mark.”
The young people who were involved developing the Youth Charter included community ambassadors, project staff and mentors, youth parliament members and youth project participants.
The Charter was offered for consultation and feedback across Nottingham City and County networks to ensure that it is representative of the needs of a diverse range of young people.
For more information about the Youth Charter, including how to sign up, email the Violence Reduction Partnership at email@example.com