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6th July 2018

OnSide Network #YouthVoice


At OnSide, we put young people at the heart of everything we do, giving them a voice within their Youth Zone and communities to make their OnSide experience a positive one and one that is driven by them.

It is this ethos that was behind the ‘OnSide Network Youth Voice Group’, a working title for the scheme with the young people themselves set to determine its permanent name.

Young people from each Youth Zone have been nominated to represent the voices of young people from their own Youth Zone.  They will work together to improve the experience of over 35,000 active members across the entire network, campaign on issues that are important for young people and develop social action throughout our Onside network. 

The first workshop, which took place at Wigan Youth Zone comprised of a series of activities, ice breakers and workshops, which got young people thinking about what they like about their Youth Zones, why they thought young people attended and what they feel could be better. 

The tasks set enabled them to think about the importance of their Youth Zone, feeding back to each other the impact it has on their own lives, whilst also sharing their thoughts and ideas on how their interests can be better represented throughout the network.

Amongst the group there were interests ranging from enterprise, sports and the arts which was a healthy representation of what each Youth Zone offers. 

90% of members of existing youth zones report that they are now getting on better with others and 75% of young people say that the Youth Zones encourage them to think about the future. 

Gavin Evans, Chief Executive of Future Youth Zone in Barking and Dagenham, which is less than a year away from opening, is supporting the group and is passionate about providing young people with the platform they need to ensure their voices are at the forefront of what we do. 

We had a really great day at Wigan Youth Zone, with our brand-new Youth Voice group, who will be representing over 35,000 of our OnSide Youth Zone members. We’re looking forward to developing our next steps when we get together on our summer residential in a months’ time, where we will be making our plans more concrete.

Gavin Evans, Future Youth Zone Chief Executive. 

It was wonderful to see young people from across the network come together to have a say on their Youth Zone, coupled with their enthusiasm and eagerness of being a part of decision process that can really make a difference the future of young people.

To read more on the exciting things our Young People have been up to, visit our Shout Out Page.

The Youth Voice can help Youth Zones by giving them a platform to express what they want to see change and give them a way to speak out about what it is they want to see change within their Youth Zones.