On 19th February 2022 Jersey Youth Parliament held its first Little Parliament.
During the event, 24 Year 6 students from 13 Jersey schools came together at Crabbé to share ideas and meet young people from other schools. All primary schools were invited and were asked to select two representatives to attend the event. Schools had been asked to have discussions in their classes and for the representatives to come prepared with answers to 3 questions:
- What issues are affecting young people in Year 6?
- What changes would you like to see in the Island?
- What do you think adults making decisions should be prioritising?
The students shared their feedback in small groups and then they presented to the whole group. Students first shared what issues are facing children in Year 6. They highlighted issues including school pressures, the cost of living in Jersey, concerns around safety, environmental issues, and bullying. They also raised several issues related to the impact of Covid-19.
The groups then shared about what things they would like to see change in Jersey and what things the adults making decisions in Jersey should prioritise. The different issues were grouped under different sub-headings: education, the environment, health, safety, things to do and places to play, basic needs and transport.
To replicate the work of the Jersey Youth Parliament, the students then voted on the 3 topics that they thought were a priority and that they wanted to explore further. The young people selected a campaign to work on and they were then tasked to make a short video to summarise their points.
The actions were grouped into three headings: Education, Health and Safety. Their findings are summarised below:
The health campaign called themselves ‘Healthy Helpers’ and priorities were:
And finally the safety group created a video around these key themes:
A key finding was that young people have a lot to say and they really want to be listened to by adults making decisions.
Senior Youth Worker, Lisa Mansell, said: “It was a really fantastic day with the young people having such important discussions. Many of the themes they discussed were similar to what the Youth Parliament are campaigning for, in particular relating to the education campaign, so it is clear that these issues are spanning across all ages.
“It was a shock to hear that young people don’t feel safe but it was really interesting to hear about their suggestions to make improvements. The feedback from the young people was positive, so we hope to make this an annual event as well as reaching out to other Year 6 students across youth projects to ensure that this age group have a chance to have their voices heard”
Quotes from the young people:
- “I found today fun because I got to meet new friends and chat about what changes we want”.
- “I found today really fun as well as productive and I think our ideas will really make a difference”.
- “Today I felt happy and proud to be here”.