At the beginning of this year, we set out to create a youth charter. One that would amplify youth voices, enhance collaboration, and demonstrate our commitment to all the young Londoners we work alongside.
A youth charter is an important document any organisation working with children and young people should have. It serves as a framework that guides ways of working and services related to youth development and well-being.
At Safer London we wanted something in place that would emphasise the importance of providing equal opportunities, supporting positive relationships, and creating a safe and inclusive environment for young Londoners to thrive. So, we set out to do just that.
We knew creating a youth charter would require a collaborative effort. To get a charter in place we needed the input and participation of young Londoners. So, with this in mind we went to the best youth experts we know – the Safer London VIPs!
Working closely with the young Londoner VIPs, we embarked on a collaborative journey to develop our youth charter, recognising the significance of their involvement in shaping this important document.
Their participation was crucial as they bring first-hand experiences, perspectives, and insights that reflect the realities faced by young people in London. It was important to involve the VIPs to foster a sense of ownership, inclusivity, and collaboration. Ultimately creating a charter that reflects the collective voice and champions the well-being of all young people in the city.
Their input helped us craft a charter that resonates with young Londoners, empowering them, and safeguarding their rights. Together we created the Safer London Youth Charter that covers five key areas:
The first commitment we make in the Youth Charter is to amplify young Londoners’ voices. We want to make sure young Londoners are prioritised and their rights are recognised and championed.
By actively involving young Londoners in organisational decision-making processes, their unique perspectives and experiences are valued, allowing them to shape policies, programmes, and services that directly impact their lives.
The second aspect of the Youth Charter focuses on supporting young Londoners in understanding consent and making their own choices.
Empowering young Londoners to make informed decisions not only protects them from potential harm, but also instils a sense of confidence and self-advocacy.
The charter put emphasis on supporting young Londoners to make their own decisions through their journey with Safer London.
Providing young Londoners with the opportunity to make their own decisions is a crucial aspect of supporting their autonomy throughout their journey with Safer London. When young Londoners have experienced violence and exploitation, their sense of control and agency may have been undermined. Empowering them to make decisions, helps restore their confidence, self-worth, and trust in themselves.
The Youth Charter emphasises the importance of actively engaging with external partners, encouraging them to listen attentively and respond effectively to the needs of young Londoners.
This involves collaborating with a wide range of stakeholders, including schools, community organisations, statutory services, and local authorities. By fostering strong partnerships, we can ensure that the support networks surrounding young Londoners are responsive and effective.
The final commitment in the Youth Charter revolves around fostering an environment where Safer London can be openly challenged by young Londoners.
Openly challenging existing approaches enables innovation, adaptability, and growth, allowing for more effective strategies to tackle issues such as violence, and exploitation. By fostering a culture of open challenge, the Youth Charter promotes transparency, trust, and collaboration, strengthening the overall safety and well-being of young Londoners.
By addressing these four key areas, the charter empowers young Londoners, protects their rights, and facilitates collaborative efforts towards a city where every young Londoner can thrive and contribute positively to society.
As we move forward, we’re excited about how this framework will help young Londoners develop skills, gain confidence, and build up their resilience. We want to create as many chances as possible for young Londoners to let their rights be known and have their say.
We’re all about getting young Londoners engaged and giving them opportunities to share their thoughts and feedback – and our new youth charter should enable us to do exactly that!