Mayor and Councillors share their experience with NW Ministry of Youth
20 October 2022
The North West Ministry of Youth, the Youth Voice for the District, have hosted a meet the Mayor and Councillors event at the Guildhall.
The youth led event was part of Council’s Local Democracy work and is supported by the Education Authority Youth Service and Council.
The event is a key milestone in the Council area’s multi agency partnership journey to achieve internationally recognised Unicef Child Friendly Community status.
Tuesday’s event was guided by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and embeds the principals of a Child Rights based approach, a commitment within the Social Pillar of the Inclusive Strategic Growth Plan.
The elected representatives spoke to the young people about their roles and responsibilities within Council before taking part in a question and answer session and most importantly heard from the young people about their priorities in the youth manifesto and had the chance to informally network to help strengthen relationships between decision makers and local young people.
Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Councillor Sandra Duffy, said she was delighted to have the chance to connect with the young people and discuss how Councillors can do more to represent them.
“I really enjoyed sitting alongside members of the NW Ministry of Youth, Councillors and Aldermen at this event where we shared our experiences with the young people and discussed how we can represent them and improve their lives,” she said.
“We are aware that some of the issues young people have identified as important to them do not fit neatly into one organisation’s structures and through our Community Planning networks, we aim to work more closely and make the changes they want and deserve.
“We value the importance of hearing the voice of young people and as a Council we will continue to listen, understand and strive for continuous improvement in creating a diverse, shared future for all.”
Connladh Mc Laughlin – Youth Voice Member presenting at the event added: “It was just amazing to see so many Councillors attend and be open and honest about their roles, responsibilities and vision for the district.
“It just goes to show that our voice is being heard and taken seriously.”
Annmary Joseph – Youth Voice Ambassador presenting the ‘Voices for Change’ Manifesto said it was important to have the opportunity to present it to local Council and have discussions around the issues young people face such as mental health, environment, identity, employment and opportunities.
“We look forward to working in partnership with Council going forward.”