Charities to work with ministers to create Youth Charter

Written by Joe Lepper

Charities are to work with the government to create a Youth Charter to give young people a stronger voice on issues that affect them.

The charter has been a long-term recommendation of a raft of youth sector charities, including The Scouts, Girlguiding, The Prince’s Trust and the British Youth Council, who will work with the government to put the charter in place.

The development of the charter follows a roundtable meeting between secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport Jeremy Wright with youth sector organisations at this month’s Serious Youth Violence Summit to tackle knife crime.

The government says the charter aim to give young people a greater say on issues such as crime, mental health and climate change.

Young people will also be involved in developing the charter as will UK Youth, Youth United Foundation, Step up to Serve and NCS Trust.

“This is an important commitment to a generation for a generation,” said civil society and sport minister Mims Davies.

“The Youth Charter will be a clear message to young people: we back them and are listening to them.”

Children’s minister Nadhim Zahawi added: “TheYouth Charter reaffirms young people’s place at the heart of policy, making sure their voices are heard on important issues that affect them, from decisions about the environment, the schools they attend, support for mental health, or how we tackle serious violence.”

Amanda Chetwynd-Cowieson, chair of the British Youth Council, is hoping the charter will also offer young people guarantees around access to support and activities that are “accessible, affordable, open to all and nationally coordinated to ensure parity of access”.

“Young people should be a the forefront of the decision making which affects their lives not just because it’s the right thing to do but because they care about their futures,” she added.

“The time has come for a new, bolder approach to youth strategy that acknowledges the specific opportunities and challenges facing this generation of young people. We are working collaboratively to unlock investment in youth services to ensure all young people are given the opportunities they need to be able to thrive.”

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