|Members of the new Stockton Youth Assembly (SYA), along with officers of the Council that were also present, introduced themselves and briefly explained who they were representing at the commencement of this first formal meeting of the SYA. |
|The SYA was invited to consider acceptable rules of behaviour and conduct they would expect from attending meetings of the Assembly, that could then be drawn up to form a Code of Conduct. |
It was noted that it was important for all members of the SYA to be comfortable and happy to abide by an agreed set of rules so that no one attending these meetings could have reason to believe they were being treat unfairly.
The current Code of Commitment and Conduct for the Youth Parliament, which both the Youth MP and Deputy YMP were a member of, was circulated as an example of what such a document should include.
Members of the SYA formed workshops to discuss their ideas, following which they fed back their top suggestions to the group. These would be drafted to form a document that could be presented to the next meeting for discussion as a proposed Code of Conduct for the SYA.
|The SYA was advised that, in a similar way to all schools, colleges and youth clubs, it was necessary for the SYA to agree as one of its first priorities, rules and procedures that would explain how meetings of the SYA would be held.|
These procedures should include an explanation of the purpose of the SYA and contain items such as the frequency and venue of meetings; the importance of appointing a Chairman and Vice Chairman; how voting on decisions will take place; and how SYA members will be supported by the Council etc.
An example of what could be included within a Rules & Procedures document was circulated. Members of the SYA then formed workshops to discuss their ideas, which they then fed back to the group. These suggestions would be now gathered together and drafted to form a document that could be presented to the next meeting for discussion as a proposed Rules & Procedures document for the SYA.
|Consideration was given to the appointment of a Chairman for the SYA.|
|Consideration was given to the appointment of a Vice Chairman for the SYA.|
|The background to the nomination of members to serve on the SYA was noted, with representatives invited from each Secondary School, Sixth Forms, Colleges, Youth Clubs and hard to reach groups, as well as the Youth MP, Deputy and Cabinet Members for Children & Young People and Corporate Management & Finance.|
A full list of the proposed membership of the SYA was submitted.
|Julie Thornton, Youth Direction, summarised the various activities members of the SYA had undertaken since being appointed, which included initial 'getting to know you' sessions, visits, attendance at the Annual Debate, and the Stockton Youth Voice Celebration Event. Further upcoming events were also planned, including attendance at the British Youth Council (BYC) Convention.|
|Copies of the report summarising discussion at the SYA Annual Debate event, held on 30th September 2013, were circulated for consideration.|
Topics discussed at the event were as follows:-
-Health & Wellbeing
-Police & Crime
-Getting Ready for Work
-Arts & Leisure
-Communities & Environment
These topics would be discussed in more detail by the SYA as part of its ongoing work programme, commencing at today's meeting with Health & Wellbeing.
The Chair also made reference to the UK Youth Parliament's annual ballot 'Make Your Mark Campaign' of the public youth voice, which would allow young people to have their say on what is debated by their Member of Youth Parliament in the House of Commons on the 15th November 2013.
Five topics form a shortlist of fifteen would be debated by elected MYPs in the chamber, chaired by The Rt Hon John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons. Members of the SYA, who hadn't already voted on the topics to be selected for debate, were invited to do so.
|Peter Kelly and Sarah Bowman from Public Health, Stockton Borough Council, thanked members of the SYA for inviting them to attend their first meeting to obtain their views on young people's mental health and wellbeing in Stockton Borough.|
The SYA were shown the identity of famous celebrities who had all experienced some form of mental health disorder, such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, or panic attacks. This highlighted how common a problem mental health disorder was for many people; and how help was available to anyone who suffered from such a condition. Three children (aged 5-16) in every class were likely to have a diagnosable mental health disorder. It was noted that mental health was not just about mental illness, but was also about a persons mental and emotional wellbeing.
As a workshop activity, members of the SYA were invited to consider:-
-What does good mental health and wellbeing mean to you?;
-What are the main issues for you and your peers, regarding mental health and wellbeing?;
-Do you think young people talk about mental health and wellbeing?;
-Where/who would you got to for support?
All of the comments/opinions received would be gathered together and would be submitted into a health needs assessment currently being undertaken, which was examining what children and young people need and whether services were available to meet these needs. The information would be invaluable to help ensure that appropriate services were available in the future.
|Julie Thornton, Youth Direction, provided each of the SYA members with their own Log Book, produced by the British Youth Council, within which to chronicle their learning and development activity whilst a member of the SYA.|
It was hoped that each SYA member would complete the Log Book and participate towards achieving the Youth Voice Award, which was the national award given to recognise and accredit work undertaken by young representatives within their community.
|It was noted that the next meeting of the SYA would be held on Tuesday 21st January 2014 at 5.00pm.|
It was suggested that this meeting be held in the Council Chamber in the Town Hall, Stockton on Tees so that SYA members could see where the Council made many of its decisions.
A Forward Plan of proposed discussion items for the SYA was submitted for approval. In addition to the items scheduled for discussion at the next meeting, it was expected that the Chair would be able to update the SYA regards the results of the Make Your Mark campaign.