Young voices must he heard, says new youth chair

The new head of the North Yorkshire Youth Voice Executive has spoken of the importance of all young people in the county knowing that their voices will be heard.

Aimee Walker and Jaz Parkinson

Members of the Youth Voice Executive recently elected Jaz Parkinson as their new chair and Aimee Walker as vice-chair.

Both Jaz and Aimee have been part of the Executive since it was formed in early 2017. They share a desire to make sure that young people in North Yorkshire have a voice in decision-making.

Speaking about his election, Jaz said: “I am incredibly honoured to have been elected as chair of the Executive. To now be in a position to give back something to a group which has given me so much over the past 18 months is a privilege. It is important to me that every young person in North Yorkshire feels not only that they have a platform on which to voice their concerns, but also that their voices will be heard and listened to, enabling them to be involved in decisions which affect them.”

Aimee added: “As vice-chair, my main aim is to make a difference in young people’s lives. If one young person is able to say to me that the Executive has helped them in any way then that is the moment I will know that I have done my job.”

The Youth Voice Executive was formed after North Yorkshire Children’s Trust Board recognised the need for a body to give young people representing various groups the opportunity to work with each other and decision makers to improve the lives of young people. It is supported by North Yorkshire County Council’s Voice, Influence and Participation team.

The Executive brings together representatives of young carers, LGBT+ communities, school councils, the Flying High group for people with disabilities or additional needs, the Young People’s Council for people who have experienced care, Military Kids Clubs for children of service personnel, Selby and Harrogate youth groups and county members of the British Youth Parliament.

County Councillor Janet Sanderson, Executive Member for Children’s services, said: “The Youth Voice executive has shown great energy and passion and has achieved so much in the relatively short time it has existed. Its members offer valuable insight for decision makers within the County Council and other local bodies and I’m sure Jaz and Aimee will build on these strong foundations.

“I’m glad we are able to facilitate and support such an important body as part of this authority’s commitment to listening to the voices of young people.”

This story was published 21 September 2018