The Youth Board was pleased to welcome Marvin Rees to the head office of 1625 Independent People (1625ip) for one of their regular meetings this week, using the opportunity to raise important issues affecting young people supported by the youth homelessness charity.
The Youth Board is made up of young people who have been supported by 1625ip and they work alongside the Board of Trustees to set priorities for the charity. They ensure that young people's voices are heard at every level of the organisation and beyond. Their work received national recognition through an award for the 'Most Inspiring Scrutiny Panel - Small Landlord' in the CSI Awards 2015
. They are also actively involved in wider community events such as the Big Housing Conversation and the Young People's Festival of Ideas
City of Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees with 1625ip Youth Board members Jenny, Habtom, Jade and Sarah
Yesterday's visit came about after Youth Board member Jade met the Mayor at the Big Housing Conversation and invited him to attend a Youth Board meeting so they could share their insights around youth homelessness. The agenda was set by the Youth Board and addressed three key priorities for young people supported by 1625ip:
Making housing affordable for young people
Bringing much needed mental health support to young people affected by homelessness
Representation on the Youth Council
Suggestions from the youth board on how to address these issues included:
Support for more schemes like Future Builders, a project delivered by 1625ip in partnership with OVO Foundation, South Gloucestershire and Stroud College and Bristol City Council, which combines support and low cost housing for young people while they complete apprenticeship training.
A mental health peer education project and bringing mental health resources closer to the people that need them the most, including young homeless people.
Increasing the age limit on membership of the Youth Council so that young people over the age of 18 are represented.
Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, commented:
"Addressing homelessness is one of my key priorities as Mayor. By preventing youth homelessness and addressing the needs of young people supported by 1625ip we can make a long term and sustainable impact and tackle homelessness in the city. It was great to listen to and learn from young people’s experiences and I look forward to maintaining a strong link with 1625ip’s Youth Board and making sure their voice is heard in the city. Together we can make sure Bristol is a city in which all young people can succeed."
Jamie Gill, 1625ip Partnerships Director, commented:
"Our Youth Board plays a central role in ensuring that young people's voices are heard and that they help to shape priorities in the organisation and in the city. Marvin has always shown a keen interest in hearing from 1625ip about how he can make a difference for the most vulnerable young people in the city and it’s brilliant that he is taking the time to listen to our Youth Board.”
The Youth Board members were truly inspired by Marvin’s visit, and made the following comments after the meeting:
“I was nervous but now I feel GOOD! Marvin told us that we have more power than we realise and our voices need to be heard. We’ve got a lot of work to do!”
Tia Psihogios, Funding and Communication Officer, on firstname.lastname@example.org
or 0117 317 8800.