Gateshead Youth Council
We believe that Young People are amazing individuals who, with support, encouragement and opportunity can achieve great things. The skills Young People develop while working on their projects are the soft skills that employers seek, the everyday things we often take for granted but aren't part of a school curriculum.
We did a little bit of brainstorming a while back, and by little, we mean little, this was five minutes’ worth. Imagine if we had more time? What are the benefits to being involved in a GYC project?
- Developing a ‘can do’ attitude.
- Learning to problem solve.
- Developing resilience.
- Learning and developing life skills.
- Developing political awareness.
- Start to understand civic society.
- Develop civic responsibility.
- Learning about citizenship.
- Developing awareness off community ownership/leadership/responsibility.
- Increased self-esteem.
- Increased self-confidence.
- Developing critical thinking skills.
- Learning to recognise and challenge inequality and stereotypes.
- Experience of people from different social groupings.
- Learning to work with people from different groups to achieve common goals.
- Develop an awareness of others, their feelings, needs, qualities and limitations.
- Recognising and appreciating all of these differences.
- Developing empathy with others.
- Developing mindfulness about self and others.
- Practice effective decision making.
- Learning to negotiate.
- Developing communication skills.
- Developing research skills.
- Developing skills in presenting self and ideas.
- Working with people in positions of power.
- Understanding power structures, how they can be a struggle to comprehend.
- Developing awareness of how power structures can affect self and others.
Our young people design and deliver their own projects with support from the GYC Board of Trustees and Volunteers, we currently deliver the following projects:
Gateshead Youth Assembly
GYA is a group of young people who meet weekly to explore and address issues affecting them, or issues with which they are concerned. They manage their own programme of work on an annual basis and the GYA year runs from November to October annually. The young people are mostly recruited from schools as this is the most efficient way to ‘catch’ most young people but this is not the only way we recruit, and we remain open to any other way to meet young people. GYA has been around since 1999 and is seen as the vehicle to engage with young people in Gateshead. The young people work with the Local Authority, Health Service, LSCB, Police, local universities, City of Dreams along with a variety of other agencies. GYA enables and supports young people to get involve in real social action. They are supported to research, design, deliver and evaluate projects from start to finish including applying for appropriate funding. GYA is an independent body who have their own constitution and terms of reference, they are supported by Gateshead Youth Council and Gateshead Council but belongs to neither. A current plans and priorities newsletter for GYA is available, just call or email for a copy.
During 2018 some of the young people who attend GYC group made us aware that apart from sometimes going places with family members, going to GYC was the only thing they had done during the school holidays. In response to this we set up a friends group which meets monthly on either Friday night for curry, Saturday afternoon for board games or Sunday morning for brunch, times are determined by young people, in collaboration with staff and volunteers. These sessions are informal and there is no ‘work agenda’ which is the only GYC session which is not to an agenda, this is sometimes a challenge for young people as they are so used to coming to GYC to work. We also encourage the young people to make their own arrangements outside of these sessions and were delighted to hear that one pair of young women (who have been on GYC groups for a number of years) had arranged to go to the theatre together.
The World Artists are a group of Asylum seeking young people who meet weekly to explore art and culture, they held an exhibition during the 2017 Juice Festival and have continued to meet and work with artists as a way of exploring their cultures and learn about their new homes.
Gateshead Youth Can
GYC young people were using vInspired to record their volunteer hours, collecting v10, v50 and v100 as they went. When vInspired folded in 2018 we were looking for another way to record and reward volunteering for our young people. Our group came up with the Gateshead Youth Can idea. They will log their hours and activities on a database that a Board member is creating and they are designing a booklet which will have sections that each young person can, should they wish, complete and have verified by an appropriate person. The sections the young people have identified are Social Action; Personal Development; Activity; Arts Award and Volunteering.
We are producing a series of workshops, lesson plans and assemblies around human rights issues. They will be tailored to focus on key dates such as International Human Rights Day, International Women’s Day and Srebrenica Memorial Day. We cover topics such as human rights, gender and community cohesion. This project is designed by a core group of young people who determine the content and delivery of the sessions.
If you want to know more about any of our work, please get in touch.
Gateshead Youth Council
12 Gladstone Terrace