Rochford youth council celebrates first anniversary after mental health and playground campaigns

ROCHFORD District Youth Council has celebrated its first anniversary, saying its biggest achievements were helping to secure new play equipment and drawing attention to mental health issues affecting the young.

The council was established last year to ‘give younger people a voice in the community’.

All of its members are aged between 12 and 18 and have a direct link to the community.

Mike Webb, Rochford District Council’s portfolio holder for community, said the youngsters had done an ‘excellent’ job.

He said: “They have raised the profile of young people in the local area and the issues which affect their lives.”

In a statement marking its first anniversary, the council said: “Our first year as an established youth council feels like we have been successful. We have become good friends, taken part in local activities and signed our constitution.

“We have researched the topic of mental health and created our first campaign – and this has included handing our surveys around local schools, conducting surveys on our Instagram page and reading up on several blogs and websites.

“We then held a workshop with local partners and gained some great pledges of support.”

The group also worked with the district council to consult residents about plans to seek funding for a local playground refurbishment.

Youth council chairman Neeve Simpson said: “As chair of the youth council, I thought it was important to find out from the young people who use the play area what they thought about new play equipment.

“We took the time to go out and talk to residents and share leaflets to local houses in the area of the park and we hope our support has enabled more people to respond and share their views.”

Charles Thomson

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