25th March 2014 marked yet another healthy and energetic meeting of ambitious minds for the Andover Youth Council at the Town Council Offices; an otherwise cold & wet evening made evermore warm & bright under these young people’s still present enthusiasm.
Now fully established, the Youth Councillors are taking responsibility for organising & overseeing their own meetings, the Town Councillors only ever lending their guiding, experienced hand[s] where necessary; confidence growing across the board in the capabilities of the AYC!
As ever, this meeting was fast paced, brimming with ideas for change, packed with political debate and accented with never ending good spirits.
First on the agenda was the pressing matter of the AYC’s professionally produced introductory video for social media – a video made by the Youth Councillors for their public – introducing themselves & their ideals to the people of Andover. A difficult action to implement quickly, the Youth Councillors have decided to scrap all slowly developing plans to film the product on professional equipment, take matters into their own hands and film the video themselves, using mobile technology immediately at their disposal to get this information out as soon as possible. The AYC are meeting next week in order to begin filming and plan to have the film up on all social media available by the date of the next meeting at the end of April.
News is spreading fast about the good work the AYC are and will be doing to enhance the lives of young people within the community; it has been requested that Youth Councillors Theo and Georgina conduct an assembly to the entire of their school about this work, young people’s involvement in local politics and, most importantly, gather their thoughts on what they feel could be improved in and around Andover for the younger generation.
Following the discussion of this was put forth the very realistic aim for the AYC to put together a universal presentation which they then can tour around the schools of Andover and the surrounding areas. A promising concept that will surely help, not only to raise awareness for the AYC and strengthen young people’s relationship to local politics but also help the AYC gather evidence and opinion on what the young people want/need in Andover. More than a little exciting!
On 2nd May, 9.30am – 2.30pm, at Ashburton Hall is the Mental Health Youth Conference; an important conference our Youth Councillors are planning to attend. This is a conference aimed at young people aged 11 – 19 years old. Mental Health issues are still taboo in Western society and so many people are affected, whether directly or indirectly; it’s prevalent to a healthy, happy society that mental health issues are openly discussed and fear, stigmas and stereotypes attached to these are subsequently removed. The logistics of attending the conference are being discussed and plans being firmly put in place.
Looking to the immediate future; the Andover Youth Council have secured a table at this Saturday’s (29th March) town market between 1 & 4pm. The purpose of this will be to talk to Andover’s young people, to gather information and understand the most pressing matters on the minds of the young. At their meeting next week – working with speed – the Youth Councillors will then go through the information they gather at Saturday’s market and determine the top 3 matters that arise with a view to working with the council to alleviating them.
Cllr Geoff McBride [Chairman ATC] added that he’d been talking to the Andover Twin Towns Association [ATTA] about the YC. Once projects are underway he will be looking at ways of working with ATTA and the Twinned Towns.
In summary, the Andover Youth Council is undoubtedly going from strength to strength, fast becoming the positive force behind the young people in the community. Only success is on the horizon for this feisty group of young people!
Follow Andover Youth Council on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Andover-Youth-Council/483611298385759
(C) Sophie Porter 2014.