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A-Z: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Youth Forum news

  • Welcome new members
  • Meeting with Councillors
  • ‘Elephant in the Room’ update
  • Our meeting with the Prime Minister
  • Party in the Park
  • Get in touch
  • Sign up to Belfast Youth Forum emails
  • Our vision

    An equal and just Belfast for all young people.

    Welcome new members

    In September 2018 we welcomed 40 new young people to the 2018-2020 Belfast Youth Forum.

    Our members were recruited in June and will spend the next two years carrying out their duties for the Youth Forum including running campaigns, representing young people’s voices and lobbing decision makers. Our Youth Forum members will be taking part in induction training until December and will be heading off on a residential to Newcastle in November time to agree on their work plan for the next two years.

    At our welcome event in September young people were joined by their families and were officially welcomed into Belfast City Council by Lord Mayor, Councillor Deirdre Hargey who was on hand to give some helpful advice on engaging with decision makers and to wish them well for their term.

    Meeting with Councillors

    In April, a delegation from our Forum met with Councillors from some of our political parties to discuss our work and ways that we can work closer together. At the meeting we discussed some of the recommendations from our ‘Poverty: it’s not a choice’ report and as a result are planning to present these to Council Committee in the Autumn. We also spoke with Councillors about making better connections between the Youth Forum and elected representatives. At the meeting, our Councillors had some good suggestions for how we could do this.

    One of the first jobs of the new Youth Forum will be deciding how we engage with council decision makers over the next two years. So, watch this space!

    ‘Elephant in the Room’ update

    Elephant in the Room (EITR) is a regional youth-led mental health campaign organised by young people from Belfast Youth Forum, NI Youth Forum and Children’s Law Centre.

    As part of the campaign the young people have developed the “Elephant in the Room” report which they will present to the Assembly’s All Party working Groups on Children & Young people and Mental Health. They have requested meetings with the Permanent Secretaries for Health and Education and will use the findings of their report to lobby decision makers and influence policy on mental health for young people. Their youth-led campaign will be taken out to young people in communities to challenge the stereotypes, bust the myths and get people talking about mental health.

    To develop the report the young people carried out surveys and focus groups with 1,200 young people across Northern Ireland to provide information which explores:

    • Young people’s opinions on mental health and their ability to speak about it;
    • Where young people go to receive mental health information and support;
    • What actions young people think our government should take to promote positive mental health and wellbeing and support young people on their mental health journeys.

    Read the report exploring young people’s awareness of mental health in Northern Ireland

    Our meeting with the Prime Minister

    In July 2018, our Youth Forum met with the Prime Minister and Secretary of State as part of their visit to Belfast. We are passionate about making sure young people are listened to by our decision makers; so this was a brilliant opportunity for us to meet with the head of the British Government and make our voices heard. We highlighted many issues with the Prime Minister and Secretary of State including our concerns with Brexit and an Irish Language Act as well as our concerns on rights issues including marriage equality and the impact of austerity and funding for decent mental health provision. We plan to follow up this meeting with an invite to the Secretary of State to attend the launch of our mental health report in October.  

    Party in the Park

    Also in July, we helped run Belfast City Council’s Party in the Park event which takes place every year in Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park. Over 600 young people attended and took part in lots of free activities like water zorbing, inflatable assault courses, arts and crafts and much more. We think it’s important that young people have play and leisure activities for our age in the city and that’s why we organise this event every year.

    2018 was our most successful year yet.

    Get in touch

    As a decision maker within our council we would appreciate any opportunity to meet and discuss our work, especially if it can influence policy and council decisions that impact young people’s lives.

    If you’d ever like to meet some of us for a chat or to find out more about our work, you can contact our Youth Forum worker, Áine Hargey, and she will help arrange this. 

    You can email Aine at hargeya@belfastcity.gov.uk or call on 028 9050 0521.

    Sign up to Belfast Youth Forum emails

    Do you want to hear more about our youth forum?


    Contact us
    City and Neighbourhood Services
    028 9032 0202 ext 3595
    Belfast City Council
    Cecil Ward Building
    4-10 Linenhall Street
    Belfast
    BT2 8BP