Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Stockton Youth Assembly Minutes

Tuesday, 13th May, 2014
Conf Room 1. Community Zone, North Shore Academy, Talbot Street, Stockton-on-Tees TS20 2AY
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Chloe Armstrong, Helen Elston, Sarah Hurst, Frances Jones, Cllr Mrs Ann McCoy, Chloe Million, and Ardal Rushton-Hall.
N.Hart, Mrs M.Waggott (LD); P.Kelly, Ms S.Bowman (PH).
In Attendance:
Aishah Waithe (Catalyst).
Apologies for absence:
were submitted on behalf of Jessica Belch, Charlotte Dobson, Ciaran Poole, Yacouba Traore, Kathryn Wake, Matthew Wilson and Cllr David Harrington.
Item Description Decision
AGREED that Frances Jones be appointed Chair for this meeting only.
AGREED that the minutes of the meeting held on 18th March 2014 be agreed as a correct record.
AGREED that the presentation be noted and Stockton Youth Assembly lend its support to National Carers Week from 9th-15th June 2014.
AGREED that the update regarding development of Young People's Mental Health & Wellbeing services in Stockton Borough, be noted.
AGREED that the work of the Task & Finish Group be noted and their comments be forwarded to the Council's Leisure & Sports Development Manager for consideration when putting together the next Borough wide sport and active leisure programme.

AGREED that the update on SYA activity be noted.
AGREED that the Forward Plan be noted.


In the absence of both the Chairman and Vice Chairman, nominations were sought for the role of Chairman for this meeting only.
Chloe Million and Frances Jones each declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest in respect of the item entitled 'Young Carers Project' as they were members of Eastern Ravens and were promoting the Young Carers Quest to the SYA.
Members of the SYA considered the minutes of the meeting held on 18th March 2014.
Chloe and Frances gave members of the SYA a presentation on the Eastern Ravens Young Carers Aloud Quest project, which aimed to raise general awareness of young carers in Stockton Borough.

To recognise the contribution made by carers throughout the country, for the first time ever an official week of recognition would be held from 9th-15th June 2014, and it was hoped that events during the week would help to raise awareness of young carers and the importance of supporting young people with caring responsibilities, especially in schools and colleges.

In this regard, Eastern Ravens intended to deliver copies of their Young Carers School policy to every School/College in the Borough; and would be contacting key people working with children, young people and families, as well as MP's, Councillors, Voluntary Organisations and Health Providers. Frances and Chloe had also been invited to attend a regional meeting of the British Youth Council in June to explain the purpose of the Quest.

Officials and members of the SYA happily posed for photographs with Chloe and Frances and the Quest Banner as a pledge of their support.

Further to the meeting held on 7th November 2013 when the SYA were asked for their views on young people's mental health and wellbeing in Stockton Borough, an update report was provided by Public Health advising on the progress made since SYA's views were obtained.

The SYA were reminded of how common a problem mental health disorders 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.

The SYA had previously contributed feedback on the following questions:-

-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?

These views had been fed into a health needs assessment which would look at what children and young people need and whether there were servvices available to meet those needs. Some of the feedback obtained to date indicated that:-

-some services were not as easily accessed as they should be;
-when accessed, services were generally good;
-services were not always co-ordinated and therefore could be duplicated;
-it helps to have a trusted teacher to speak to;
-schools & YP dont always know where to get support.

Also being fed back as part of the consultation was the fact that some of the main issues facing young people included stress, anxiety, depression and anger, with a range of different causes. Many schools provided support on wellbeing and there were a range of services available through several organisations, although data was not always easily accessible. Young people also preferred to access services in a range of settings.

In response, Public Health were of the view that they needed to have a clear 'offer' of services they could make to schools, YP and others; have a framework for buying the required services; and be able to provide a balance of both services available for all young people, as well; as being able to meet the specific needs of young people. A communication plan was also needed about the various help available, and help was needed for the Voluntary & Community Sector so that they could compete to provide the services required. It was important to also focus on early help and prevention.

Officers were currently working on the delivery of a new 'Targeted Mental Health in Schools' service; and were working with health colleagues on access to new Child Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS); as well as preparing a Mental Health & Wellbeing Strategy for Children & Young People. Work on self-harm and suicide with partners would continue, as would a health and wellbeing pilot programme for Councillors aimed at supporting local residents. Thereafter, the health needs assessment would be completed and plans built for buying and developing services.

Members of the SYA commented on how essential they thought it was for anyone advising on mental health issues to be trustworthy and respect a persons confidentiality. Officers agreed that this was a necessity and pointed out to the proven track record of organisations such as the Tees, Esk & Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust in this regard.

The SYA noted the conclusions of their Task & Finish Group's discussions regards their views on their own priorities for developing a sport and leisure service for young people. Their views would be forwarded to the Council's Leisure & Sports Development Manager for consideration when putting together the next Borough wide sport and active leisure programme.

Members of the Group stressed the importance of price when considering participation, as well as the need for good transport in order to be able to access the available facilities. Other important factors included clean, appropriate venues with respect for privacy, that were open particularly after school and weekends when young people could most attend.

Some members of the Task Group participated in gym activities and sports such as archery, whilst others favoured leisure pursuits such as bird watching or structured activities such as those provided by Youth Direction, or through volunteering activities.

Finally, the Group were given the opportunity to undertake an activity where they were placed in charge of determining what a Sports & Leisure budget should be spent on. The activity was a useful tool to give young people an opportunity to decide on what services were most important to them; and to be in the position of determining priorities based on available expenditure. The activity could therefore be undertaken with any youth club or similar organisation.
An update was provided on SYA activity since the last meeting, which included attendance by several members of the SYA at the British Youth Council Youth Leaders Development Programme in Kent.

The event was attended by over 350 young people and officers and involved workshop sessions including one based upon a fictious Council upon which the young delegates present were given the responsibility of campaigning for the promotion of the voting age being reduced to 16.

SYA members were given the opportunity to apply for the role of Youth Voice Secretary for the NE Region of the British Youth Council. The deadline for applications was the 5th June 2014.

A further BYC event was to be held on the 7th June and both Chloe and Frances and other members of Eastern Ravens Trust would be attending and would give a presentation on the Young Carers Aloud Quest project.

Other events in the near future included participation in the Stockton Community Carnivval and a SIRF VIP Night for members of the SYA.
Consideration was given to the Forward Plan, which outlined the items to be discussed at the next formal and informal meetings.

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