Former Head Student speaks at Mayor’s City Addresscreative44
I wasn’t sure where to start this, for there are so many ways in which it could go. So I have decided to start simply. My name is Alice and I am a FHS Alumni (former Head Student who left Fairfield this Summer), who is also serving a term of office as Youth Mayor. I was lucky enough to be asked to attend and speak at the Mayor’s annual state of city address.
What is the Youth Council? Despite our best efforts, the Youth Council is not something everyone knows about. We have the standard response that we have all adopted. A group of 37 young people that represent the views of young people to the Council and its partners. But what does that really mean? The Youth Council is a group of 37 young people. We have 32 elected members aged between 11-18 as well as 5 co opted members from local youth forums. The groups we currently have represented are: young careers, freedom youth, kids in care council, unity youth forum and wecil listening partnership. We represent the views of young people in Bristol and are elected every 2 years to office in the Bristol Big Vote.
The annual city address would normally take place in front of a crowd at Wills Memorial Building but due to COVID it took place a little differently this year. The event was a live stream on crowd cast run by Bristol Festival of Ideas. Not only did we have the Mayor speaking but we also had the City poet Caleb Parkin read his second commissioned poem and myself and John speaking as Bristol’s Youth Mayors.
As well as updating the city on the work that we have been doing, we also wanted to give young people a message of hope as we understand that COVID 19 has had an impact on all of Bristols’ young people. The Mayor also gave an update on the projects that he is working on – I urge all young people to watch at least part of this as it is in a really accessible format for young people to understand; you are able to watch him explain what he has been doing rather than reading it in a report.
Despite the challenges of COVID, now is a great time to be engaging in local politics as ironically it is now more accessible than ever as we can be involved from the comfort of our own homes. For example you could attend virtual full council to see how the meetings work or watch any of the council meetings that are being streamed onto YouTube weekly.
Additionally you could speak to your local Youth Councillors or get involved in the Youth Council. We will be recruiting for the Youth Council in the coming months so if you are interested make sure to watch out for that!