On the 19th October, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend a Swale Youth Forum meeting.
The forum meets a number of times each year, and is a chance for schools and youth organisations in Swale to bring up any issues or ideas to help improve the lives of young people in the area. It is organised and chaired by members of Swale Borough and Kent County Council, and generally has a number of visiting professionals such as Police Officers or Councillors to answer questions.
Yesterday’s meeting was paired with a ‘Road Safety Experience’, and in complete contrast to your typical monotonous safety lecture, the Rochester Fire Station really does offer an actual ‘experience’. We spent most of the morning trying out the various interactive stations, including reaction tests, a car crash investigation simulation, and (failed) attempts to walk in straight lines wearing ‘drugs’ and ‘alcohol’ goggles. After a brief but very moving talk on first aid and what to do if you’re the first or only conscious person at an RTC, we started the forum meeting and began discussing points on the agenda.
We were each able to submit a ‘hot topics’ form, to propose points of discussion and bring up any issues or ideas we thought were particularly important. We also all voted on Swale’s priorities for young people to be taken on to further meetings, with ideas including better transport links to Sheppey, breaking down barriers between young people and adult members of the community, and having more things for teenagers to do all receiving a high proportion of votes. The meeting also saw the launch of the ‘Summer Programme Competition’, which will involve schools competing to gain the most Facebook likes on their designated page, with the ultimate aim of widening the audience of campaigns and opportunities for young people in Swale advertised on Facebook. The meeting closed on information regarding the December meeting and a decision on who would chair.
Overall, the day was extremely enjoyable and informative, and I’m very grateful to Swale Young People for the opportunity to attend.
This was written by Young Ambassador Morgan