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Celebrating the Voices of Tomorrow: Warwickshire Youth Conference

Over 100 Warwickshire young people took part in the "Voices of Tomorrow" conference last week at the Slate Conference room, Warwick University. The event on 3 November, hosted by Warwickshire Count...

Over 100 Warwickshire young people took part in the "Voices of Tomorrow" conference last week at the Slate Conference room, Warwick University.

The event on 3 November, hosted by Warwickshire County Council in partnership with Warwick University, was organised and led by young people for young people to offer an opportunity for them to come together to discuss topics of importance to them.

A total of eight different workshops were thoughtfully planned for the day allowing participants to focus on issues that affect children and young people. The themes were broad including; climate change and sustainability, mental health, careers and safety and were based on issues raised by Warwickshire's youth.

In addition, attendees had the chance to interact with local organisations to gain valuable insight into services and support in Warwickshire, as well as engaging in activities such as a digital graffiti wall, crafts, henna, face art, a caricaturist and a raffle. The event was also supported by Warwick University Student Ambassadors, who played an essential role in ensuring the day's success.

Feedback from the event has been overwhelmingly positive, with attendees describing it as well-organised and safe. One young person said: "I loved it! I would really like to go again. I had a wonderful time."

Warwickshire’s Youth Council played a pivotal role in planning and organising the event, working alongside Child Friendly Warwickshire, Warwickshire County Council’s Voice, Influence & Change team, youth workers, councillors, and businesses to create an impactful day.

Youth Council Co-chairs Alice Battersby and Wren Morley-Brown are confident that events like this can make a big difference to helping the county be as child friendly as possible. Alice said, "Young people are the voice of the future: a future we should take every opportunity to influence. This conference gave us that chance by creating a space to talk with each other and to local organisations about our views on issues we care about and how we can make a difference and shape our communities."

Cllr Sue Markham, portfolio holder for Children and Families, commented: "This conference was a chance for our young people to be heard. Here in Warwickshire, we're proud to offer our young children a platform to come together, engage with organisations, and discuss the issues closest to their hearts in a welcoming and enjoyable environment.

“It was a joy to attend the youth conference, and to hear the inspirational ideas from young people all over the county.

“We extend our gratitude to all those who contributed to the success of this event, from the young leaders who led the way, to the parents, attendees, and everyone involved in the planning and execution. Together, we've shown that by listening to the voices of tomorrow, we can shape a brighter future for all.”

Martin Price, Associate Director – Regional Engagement of Warwick University added: “We were delighted to welcome these fantastic young people to the University, and that our staff and students could be involved in making it a success. Giving opportunities and a voice to local young people is at the heart of our mission, and today was a great opportunity to work together with colleagues at Warwickshire County Council to do that.”

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Published: 10th November 2023