24 March 2023
This is our regular policy and public affairs round up blog, covering what the team have been up to here at UK Youth, what young people have been saying, and what is coming up in the next couple of months. We would love to hear from you so please get in touch if you have any questions, thoughts or ideas to share with the team!
We have been catching up with our youth representatives to the Back Youth Alliance (BYA), Kevin McKenna and Neisha Hussain. Kevin has been chatting to us about his experience co-chairing a BYA roundtable with Minister Stuart Andrew MP (Pudsey, Conservative, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media, and Sport)), you can read about Kevin’s experience on this blog. In reflection of the event, Neisha said ‘Getting to meet the minister face to face was an absolute privilege. He was responding and engaging with us on everything we said, also he seemed to really take on and think through our views on the cost of living crisis. I really enjoyed meeting other young people from different charities and organisations, hearing how they are handling effects of the crisis, as well as their own ideas on how would be best to combat it.’
We asked a question at the APPG on Tackling Loneliness and Connected Communities, to Minister Stuart Andrew MP (Pudsey, Conservative, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media, and Sport)), the question was from our incredible Belong Collective youth leader, Molly Taylor. Molly asked ‘1.9 million young people are currently experiencing chronic loneliness, citing study from the Co-op foundation. How will you and your department make sure that policy on loneliness is shaped by the experiences of young people?’. Great to hear from the Minister that he wants to continue to involve young people in these discussions, and that he referenced the fantastic aforementioned roundtable with BYA!
The Spring Budget was announced last week, with an injection of cash for the sector but a lack of specific mention of support for young people, you can read our response here. In advance of the budget at UK Youth we signed up to Martin Lewis’ campaign, alongside 130 other charities, on keeping the Energy Price Guarantee at £2,500. We are extremely pleased that this win is helping to support families and young people during a really difficult period. We also signed a letter convened by the National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) alongside 30 other charities asking the Chancellor to provide support for the cost of living for organisations and individuals.
Our team also met with Jackie Doyle-Price MP (Thurrock) in her constituency with the youth organisation Nurturing Your Needs who are part of the UK Youth Movement, it was great to hear her passion for youth services in the area and to discuss what she can do to support youth organisations during the cost of living crisis.
The Dormant Assets consultation response was announced, including some positive wins for the youth sector, you can read our response to the publication here. We are looking forward to seeing more information about how the funding will be distributed and able to reach young people.
We have also been busy hosting an engagement workshop for young people on influencing and advocacy, with a great turnout it was fantastic to hear the view of young people and youth workers on Government priorities and our work in policy and public affairs. Please keep an eye out for more opportunities to get involved!
And finally, we have been developing influencing workshops for organisations, youth workers and young people. Please let me know if you have organisations or young people who may benefit from this kind of support and may be interested in a workshop or some accompanying resources.
We have been chatting to young people about the Spring Budget. Most were happy to hear about the investment in charities but time and time again the fact that young people had not even been mentioned by the Chancellor was the main issue raised.
Melvin Riley, one of our Young Changemakers, said:
“The Spring Budget’s commitment of £100mn to support charities and community organisations is a beacon of hope for young people across the UK. Let’s use this as a catalyst for change, and work together to build a society that values and invests in our future.”
The APPG for Youth Employment have recently launched an inquiry into Place Based Approaches To Youth Employment, which we will be responding to over the next few weeks.
We are in the process of developing some great resources for young people on how to campaign, including template letters to MPs, advice on local influencing, and how to use social media. We are looking forward to sharing these as soon as we can!
Please get in touch by emailing email@example.com with any feedback you have on the content of our roundup, as well as any ideas/reflections you’d like to share to feed into our policy and public affairs work!