FENLANDER: Respect is key for youth council as it agrees priorities at annual meeting

A WIDE-RANGING “Respect” campaign will be mounted by the Youth District Council over the next year. Members will also continue to highlight the need for better transport for young people and seek to improve links with school councils and other youth groups around the district.

Those were the top priorities agreed at the YDC’s annual meeting last month.

The “Respect” campaign will include self-respect, focusing particularly on health issues such as smoking, drinking and sexual health, respect in schools (bullying and discrimination) and respect in the community (anti-social behaviour and the environment).

Transport remains a key concern, with a pilot Youth Bus project run by volunteers due to start in Manea soon.

The YDC will also again be distributing �10,000 in grants for projects that benefit young people in Fenland. Last year it awarded 14 grants to organisations ranging from arts clubs to Girl Guides.

The annual meeting re-elected Siana Rawlings as the YDC’s chairperson for a second year, with Caitlin Mills as vice-chair and Sollie Davies as finance officer.

It reviewed the highlights of the past year, including a second successful Democracy Day, a youth fair at Young People March and the Fendis golf and fun day, which was described as “a wonderful reminder that only a few hours volunteering can make a huge difference to others”. Members have also continued to be closely involved in the nationally recognised Kids Are Alright campaign.

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Councillor Steve Garratt, FDC’s portfolio holder responsible for young people, said: “YDC members do tremendous work both highlighting the issues that matter most to young people and in carrying out the very responsible job of deciding how money that is available can best be used.”

Sandra Claxton, FDC’s chief executive, told the young councillors: “I’m really impressed by how seriously you all take the proceedings. You are making a real difference to everybody out there, especially young people, so a big thank you for that. It’s fantastic – well done.”

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