Mental health and bullying are top priority for new Fenland Youth Advisory Board
- Credit: Katherine Nightingale/20Twenty Productions
Mental health and bullying are the top priority for Fenland’s new Youth Advisory Board (YAB) who plan to help youngsters “unleash their full potential”.
The YAB was officially launched at Fenland Hall on Monday, March 2 where pupils from across the region voiced their opinions and made their voice heard.
The group has already given pupils access to a mobile app to report bullying, abuse or mental health concerns as well as funding a 'resilience toolkit'.
A second YAB, this time in east Cambridgeshire, has already been approved as part of a £50,000 funding boost by the Fenland and East Cambridgeshire Opportunity Area (OA).
Max Louth, YAB member, said "Being part of the YAB makes me feel like I have a place in my community and I can see the changes that I can make.
"It's good that we can support young people with services using the commission budget, and influence decisions based on what young people want rather than professionals who think they know what we want."
Tricia Pritchard, chair of the Fenland and East Cambridgeshire OA Partnership Board, said: "Every child should grow up in an environment with no limits to their potential which is why we're funding a range of projects to level up skills and opportunities.
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"Through the youth boards, we're giving young people real power and investment to make decisions that are right for them, in this case focusing on mental health and bullying, so they can shape their own destiny."
The east Cambridgeshire YAB is being facilitated by Oblique Arts, aims to launch in May and is currently activity recruiting young people to take part.
Fenland's YAB has £22,000 OA funding and is giving local school pupils access to Tootoot - an app that makes it easy for pupils to report bullying, cyber bullying, abuse or mental health concerns.
The YAB has also engaged the Young People's Counselling Service to work with children and young people to develop a 'resilience tool kit'.
Sarah-Jane Tilley said: "I came up with the idea of a resilience toolkit after experiencing a number of different mental health services and tools, some worked for me and others didn't.
"I wanted other young people to have a range of ideas that might help them if they are feeling sad, and could be waiting for counselling."