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Youth Forum news

  • Any use? research report launch
  • Belfast Youth Forum putting poverty on the agenda
  • Elephant in the Room update
  • Get in touch
  • Sign up to Belfast Youth Forum emails
  • Any use? research report

    The Belfast Youth Forum launched their ‘Any Use?’ research report on 21 November 2019 as part of UN World Children’s Day celebration to mark the 30th Anniversary of the UNCRC. The report focuses on young people’s opinions on Relationship and Sexuality Education (RSE) in Belfast. Our Belfast Youth Forum created the report in partnership with Common Youth and Centre for Children’s Rights QUB.

    The Belfast Youth Forum chose relationship and sexuality education as one of their campaign areas for 2018-2019 because young people has raised it as a key issue through a number of engagement events.

    Key findings from the report

    • One in two young people think their right to RSE is currently not being met
    • 34 per cent of young people who completed the survey had never received a RSE lesson in school
    • Of the young people who did receive RSE, only 10 percent said the information they received was ‘very useful’
    • Despite this, a massive 86 per cent of young people felt school was still the best place to receive RSE
    • Three quarters of young people believed RSE should not be influenced by the ethos or religion of the school
    • The overwhelming majority want it taught by a qualified RSE teacher as part of a curriculum programme
    • The most popular subject young people want to learn about in RSE is ‘personal relationships.’

     
    Key recommendations from the report are:

    • Adopt a right-based proactive approach to relationship and sexuality education
    • Work with young people to co-produce an RSE curriculum programme for schools
    • A curriculum programme should be taught by specialised, qualified and trained staff.
    • Our young people will now be engaging with decision makers and influencers across Belfast to implement the recommendations in their research report.

    If you would like more information or a copy of the report, email or call 028 9050 0521.

    Belfast Youth Forum putting poverty on the agenda

    On Tuesday 15 October 2019, a delegation of young people from our Youth Forum met with key senior officials in City Hall to discuss their 'Poverty: it's not a choice' campaign.  

    Youth Forum members spoke to Permanent Secretaries from the Departments for Communities, Infrastructure and Education, and Deputy Secretaries from the Executive to discuss issues caused by poverty in Belfast and recommendations made by young people in their report. 

    The meeting coincided with the United Nations International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, which occurs every year on 17 October. This year’s theme is: "Acting together to empower children, their families and communities to end poverty.”

    ‘Elephant in the Room’ update

    Our young people continue to engage with decision makers on the Elephant in the Room (EITR) campaign. This is a regional youth-led mental health campaign organised by young people from Belfast Youth Forum and NI Youth Forum. 

    Recently young people from the campaign met with the Permanent Secretaries of Health and Education along with key officials from the departments. They agreed to set up a working group to progress the recommendations in the EITR report.  The group have also entered into a partnership with the Children’s Commissioner’s Youth Panel and are busy working together to launch a mental health advocacy toolkit for young people. 

    If you would like more information or a copy of our ‘Poverty: it’s not a choice’ or ‘Elephant in the Room’ reports, email or call 02890 500 521.

    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 or call on 028 9050 0521.

    Sign up to Belfast Youth Forum emails

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