Young people aren’t just the leaders of tomorrow. You have the energy, skills, and ideas to change society and the environment for the better today. Yet society often fails to listen to young people’s views or recognise their ability to make a positive difference.’’ A quote from the leaders of #IWillWeek, and a powerful message.https://www.iwill.org.uk/
#IWillWeek doesn’t just celebrate the impact young people and their voices can have, it fosters a positive culture around young people, and actively encourages organisations to provide young people with the tools for change and recognise the value in shaping their futures.
At Safer London, we support the young people of London, but we also celebrate them. We recognise the need for young Londoners to be a part of the internal decision-making processes within Safer London. As well as ensuring the services they need are available, relevant, and accessible.
Therefore, we’re laying the foundations of a young Londoner movement within Safer London. We’ve starting by developing a young champions team – the Safer London VIPs – who consult with Safer London senior leaders and shape the organisation from within. We are committed to creating and embedding youth voice, influence, and participation into the heart of Safer London – making young Londoners opinions and voices a priority for change.
“Young Londoners are the beating heart of Safer London. They are the reason we get up every day and do the work we do. Providing opportunities for young Londoners to share their perspectives, ideas and their opinions is a priority for Safer London. We want them to shape everything we do, from our internal processes to the services we deliver.”
Sherry Peck, CEO Safer London
So how are we doing this? To start, the Safer London VIPs supported a takeover week during the October half term, where they co-produced solutions with colleagues form across Safer London and created actions to structure change going forward.
We trained them to be confident in their youth voices and created a safe space where they could voice their opinions, with the confidence in knowing they would be heard. Going forward the VIPs will hold us accountable on these actions and support the process of change as youth voice consultants.
“The big takeover week has firmly set the foundation for us to make changes within Safer London. Change that is shaped by the voices of those who matters the most – young Londoners. At the end of the day youth voice matters, because children and young people matter. I can’t wait to see what happens.”
Sherry Peck, CEO Safer London
Throughout their young champion journey, the VIPs are rewarded for their time and creativity, balancing digital with in-person socials and events. However, their biggest reward is seeing Safer London develop to support more young people like themselves.
This is an exciting time for Safer London, as they embrace youth voice and foster an environment for change. The enthusiasm and support Safer London have shown to put these motions in place is phenomenal. I don’t doubt that Safer London and the young champion VIPs are going to achieve great things, and I am so proud to be a part of the process!
Charly O’Brien, Youth Voice and Influence Officer Participation People*