CYC's Chairperson, Hamish Keown, signed a very important document last month on behalf of the rest of the Youth Council. We've agreed to operate under a Memorandum of Understanding for the 'Strengthening the Youth Sector' project, along with heaps of other agencies involved with Chch youth. In signing it, we all agree to do this:
"Work in a collaborative and coordinated way to inform, support and build capacity of the wider youth sector to meet the needs of young people across the Christchurch, Waimakariri, and Selwyn districts."
It means that all the agencies who sign up to this agree to respect each other, be non-judgmental of each other's opinion, commit to the vision and act in honesty and good faith in their work towards making things better for young people in and around the city. Which is excellent!
The whole point of the project was to provide an opportunity for the youth sector of Greater Christchurch to come together and reflect on the sector post-Earthquakes. It basically means things are going to happen for young people a lot faster in the city, with dedicated work streams looking into youth wellbeing, a Youth Charter, participation, employment and youth-friendly places.
Face it, it's pretty darn cool to live in a city where this much goes on to make a difference for young people.
Agencies that have signed up to the MoU so far are:
Ministry of Education, CERA, Ministry of Youth Development, Ministry of Social Development. Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, Careers New Zealand, Canterbury District Health Board, Environment Canterbury, Christchurch, Selwyn and Waimakariri Councils, Ngai Tahu, Sport Canterbury, Canterbury Youth Workers Collective, Te Ora Hou, Youth and Cultural Development Society, Papanui Youth Development, Wayne Francis Charitable Trust, New Zealand Red Cross, Department of Corrections, Canterbury Community Trust, The Collaborative for Research and Training...and...ba ba baaaaaaa....
....Christchurch Youth Council. Awesome job everyone!
Now then, we all know that the Riccarton area is the busiest bus corridor in Christchurch right now, so what are the Council going to do about it? The plan, according to their 'Have Your Say' website (click the link to find out more details on the project), is this: they're going to put a new passenger lounge on the corner of Division Street. Sounds quite swish from the plans, and with submissions being invited, we decided to get involved.
After canvassing for opinion from young people, our Deputy Chair James put together this submission from Christchurch Youth Council, which we entered today:
In general, the Christchurch Youth Council supports the proposed Riccarton Super Stop and Passenger Waiting Lounge.
The Youth Councillors have filed reports from the first round of Face2Face events. We decided to start small and see where these events could take us, and also to allow the Youth Councillors a chance to get started in their respective favourite hangouts. Whilst discussion began around the idea of obstacles and opportunities for youth in the Chch rebuild, it was clear that heaps of other amazing thoughts needed to be talked through. Here's a little more on the first event at Rock Salt from CYC member Michael:
Christchurch Youth Council launched its new series of events, F2F, on 30 September 2014 at Rocksalt Cafe, Strowan. Michael and Wil were the two CYC representatives at the event. With a small but passionate group, Michael and Wil were able to gather opinions on the progress of the Christchurch rebuilt, where they attendees would like to see Christchurch in the future and what they enjoy and dislike about the city. Feedback was also gather from past CYC events, where some comments were that they thought WESPEAK was a fantastic event that was eye opening and inspiring them to get out into the community to play a role in active citizenship. The BROODS U18 concert also came up in conversation and that they thought events along that line is a fantastic opportunity for young people to be able to go to age-appropriate events. There was an enormous amount of constructive feedback from the organisers which Kaitlyn and Alice could take onboard before the second F2F event. The progress on how our small F2F events are going, is an uphill trend. Christchurch Youth Council are very happy with to be able to go out into the community to gather opinions from young people and connect on a more casual level than previous events.
CYC members Alice and Kaitlyn take up the story with their own event at Beat Street Cafe:
The second F2F held at Beat Street cafe went very well, with those in attendance having lots of input on a multitude of youth-related topics. Firstly, we asked what the main boundaries for youth disengagement, and received some great feedback on this. We hope to use this feedback and work out how w CYC could create more opportunities for youth in Christchurch through youth-friendly places and opportunities for growth. We then discussed how the rebuild has actually made Christchurch more youth-focused, through the new plans for the city, but discussed that it is hard to have voices of all youth heard as some find it hard to speak up. A huge amount of discussion took place on all these topics, and we can't wait to get stuck into all of the cool ideas and new initiatives that have been suggested.
Now that we've had a chance to dip our toes in, we're going all out for the next event. Watch this space!
You can keep up to date with what we're doing for young people in Christchurch here. Join in the conversation!