Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Stockton Youth Assembly Minutes

Date:
Tuesday, 15th March, 2016
Time:
05.00pm
Place:
Community Zone, North Shore Academy, Talbot Street, Stockton-on-Tees
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Jess Hugill (Chair),Cllr Robert Cook, Cllr Mrs Ann McCoy, Viven Alwis, Kushan Bhardwaj, Beth Gibson, J Gibson, Stephen Jones, Chloe McLaren,
Officers:
Peter Kelly (Public Health), Johanne Parker, Haleem Ghafoor, Sarah Robinson, Kelly Smith(HR, Legal and Communication), Gareth Carson, Ryan Oliphant, Shirley Stenburge (Youth Direction), Stuart Levin, Michelle Jones (Democratic Services)
Apologies for absence:
Chloe Armstrong, L Atmarrow, Jemima Burton, Elizabeth Johnson, Neha Kambalimath, Colin McPhee, Jake Mowbray, Ross Schofield, Bailey Shaw, Kathryn Wake
Item Description Decision
Public
SYA
69/15
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
SYA
70/15
MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD 19 JANUARY 2016
AGREED that:

1. the minutes of the meeting held 19 January 2016 be agreed as a true record

2. a letter of thanks would be sent on behalf of the SYA to those Members that had stepped down
SYA
71/15
ASK SAM / CHARLIE UPDATE
AGREED that:

1. the discussion be noted

2. the name would be changed to "Alex"

3. Youth Direction continue to develop the use of social media to consult with young people

4. Youth Direction to meet with the lead SBC Officer for "My Views" to explore how it may be used by Youth Direction to consult with children and young people

5. Youth Direction meet with Chair and vice-Chair of SYA to update on progress
SYA
72/15
EMOTIONAL HEALTH & WELLBEING OF YOUNG PEOPLE
AGREED that:

1.the information be noted

2. the suggestions be fed back to head teachers via cluster group meetings

3. the discussion be considered in the development of services for self-harm
SYA
73/15
YOUNG PEOPLE'S SUBSTANCE MISUSE SUPPORT SERVICE
AGREED that the information be noted
SYA
74/15
CONSULTING YOUNG PEOPLE - NOW AND THE FUTURE
AGREED that:

1. the discussion be noted

2. the Consultation Officer update on results at a future meeting
SYA
75/15
UPDATE OF STOCKTON YOUTH ASSEMBLY ACTIVITY
AGREED that the information be noted.
SYA
76/15
YOUTH MANIFESTO
AGREED that the information be noted.
SYA
77/15
FORWARD PLAN
 
5.00pm/7.00pm

Preamble

ItemPreamble
SYA
69/15
There were no declarations of interest.
SYA
70/15
Members considered the minutes of the meeting held 19 January 2016.

It was noted that Luke Marsden, Neha Kambalimath, Amelia Smith and Kathryn Wake had stepped down from the SYA and a letter of thanks would be sent to them.
SYA
71/15
An update was given on the development of using social media to consult with young people. It was noted that the original concept of "Ask Sam" was that all Council services would be asked to put forward a question each week and one question from these be chosen to put to young people via social media.

The SYA were informed that the name "Ask Sam" was being used by the national charity Childline, while the name "Charlie", which had been put forward as an alternative, had negative association with drug use. The SYA discussed another name that could be used and suggested "Alex". It was also suggested to either change "Ask" to "Answer" or not to use a prefix for the hashtag (#)/initiative, which would make the question be perceived as being from an actual person ( - Alex).

The new online consultation tool ("My Views") that the Council was promoting was noted and there was a possibility of using the tool to conduct online consultation with children and young people. The use of having themes for different days on social media pages, e.g. "Quiz Monday", "Support Sunday" etc. was also suggested. Followers/friends of the social media page would then know when to expect information on different issues to be published and when questions would be asked. It was noted that some schools had introduced the use of iPads in class and schools could be involved by encouraging young people to take part in the consultation via the iPads during tutorials or citizenship classes.

The number of questions to be asked at one time was discussed. It was noted that the original concept was to ask one question as young people did not like to be asked lots of questions at one time.

Youth Direction would continue to develop the use of social media for consultation, taking in to account the discussion, and meet with the Chair and Vic-e Chair before the next SYA meeting.
SYA
72/15
The SYA received a presentation regarding self-harm in Stockton-On-Tees. The presentations outlined the different forms of self-harm, from cutting and scratching to ingesting toxic substances, and the possible triggers of self-harm e.g. feeling stressed or isolated. The SYA were informed that some studies suggested 10% of young people had self-harmed, and that hospital admissions for self-harm in Stockton-On-Tees were considerably higher than the average for England. Hospital admission rates for self-harm were also much higher in teenage years and especially for girls. It was noted that many more people self-harm without going to hospital.

SYA members discussed their experiences of self-harm and four members were aware of young people who had self-harmed, two of which had been admitted to hospital as a result self-harming. The SYA believed that young people self-harmed due to peer pressure, stress and bullying. It was noted that there was a lot of pressure on young people to be 'normal' and fit in with a particular way of dress, both at school and on social media. Those that did not want to or could not afford to fit what was considered 'normal' were more likely to have low self-esteem or be bullied.

The SYA discussed the pressure on young people to achieve at school. It was noted that young people were aware of unemployment in Stockton and were scared of what would happen to them in the future if they did not achieve the results that they needed to get into college or university. The SYA felt that there was pressure on young people to achieve high results so that they had more opportunities in the job market, and not enough reassurance was given to young people regarding resitting exams.

The SYA noted that young people had to deal with pressures and stresses of fitting in socially at school, doing well academically, and maybe even issues at home, while they were going through a period of developing emotionally.

How the issues of self-harm could be tackled was discussed. It was felt that as teachers worked with young people they were best placed to identify and talk to young people about self-harm. However teachers needed more training in spotting and dealing with self-harm, especially as young people were aware of the main signs that were currently looked out for and able to hide those behaviours. The Director of Adult Services & Public Health stated that he would raise this point with head teachers via there cluster meetings.

It was also felt that young people needed more information on how to deal with the pressures that they faced. This information needed to be easily accessible and easy to understand. This would enable young people to get help without talking to people who they saw everyday about their problems and self-harm, and therefore feel embarrassed or judged. It was suggested that the Ask Sam/Charlie social media campaign be used, giving a variety of scenarios that may happen to young people and how they dealt with that scenario and their feelings. Young people could then look at the scenarios when they felt unhappy or under pressure.

It was also suggested that information on self-harm and dealing with stress should be available, or linked to, NHS websites, as people often searched the internet when they had health problems.
SYA
73/15
The Stockton-On-Tees Young People's Substance Misuse Service was delivered as part of an integrated Young People and Adult Alcohol Recovery Service. The Service wished to attend the next SYA to find out how they felt the risks of alcohol and substance misuse were best communicated.

Leaflets for the Service were circulated along with a questionnaire to determine how much the SYA knew about the service.
SYA
74/15
The Consultation Officer and Community Engagement Team informed the SYA of their work refreshing the Consultation, Community Engagement and Communications strategies, merging these three strategies in to one single strategy. The strategy had to clearly set out how the Council consulted, engaged and communicated with all of the Borough's residents, not just adults. Between September 2015 and March 2016 the team looked at how other Councils and private companies consulted with children and young people, interviewed 100's of young people in colleges, via Youth Direction and on the High Street to ask what they wanted to be consulted about, where, and how often; and consulted with SBC Service managers and VCSE representatives.

The SYA members split in to two groups to discuss their views on how to consult with young people. SYA members suggested that the best way to consult with children and young people in schools and colleges was via assemblies, PHSE sessions, and School Council meetings. The form that face to face consultation events could take was discussed and it was felt that these could be held between 10am - 3pm during school holidays in different areas of the Borough. It was also felt that they should include or be a part of existing social activities away from school e.g. ice skating, fireworks display, circus skills etc., and include 'freebies'. How to consult online with children and young people aged under 16 was also discussed, and SYA members believed that parents should be asked to give consent on an annual basis, via school.

The SYA members were also given time to complete the teams survey.

The Consultation Officer stated she would report back to the SYA with the results of the work that they had done and how this would be progressed.
SYA
75/15
A report was presented that summarised the various activities members of the SYA had undertaken since the previous meeting, which included a Member achieving the Youth Voice Award and the preparations for "Don't hate. Educate" event on 21 July.

SYA Members were asked to complete the BYC registration form and consent forms for a leisure activity were circulated.
SYA
76/15
The SYA were informed that the Youth Manifesto, which would bring together the priorities and issues identified by SYA and young people across the Borough through events like the Borough-wide Debate, Make Your Mark and the Annual Conversation. A draft of the manifesto would be presented to the next meeting of the SYA.
SYA
77/15
The Forward Plan was noted.

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