Young people make up a third of the population of Belfast, making our city one of the youngest in Europe.
As Belfast is home to so many young people, we thought it was time they had a say in how our city is run and show that they’re listened to by adults.
If you’re a young person, we’ve set up the Belfast Youth Forum to help make this happen.
The United Nations Convention on the rights of the Child (UNCRC) is a list of rights created to protect all children and young people and make sure they have everything they need to live a happy and healthy life.
The work of the Belfast Youth Forum is guided by the UNCRC, in particular:
- Article 2- Children and young people should not be discriminated against
- Article 3- The best interests of children and young people should be a top priority in all decisions concerning them, and
- Article 12- Every child and young person has the right to say what they think in matters affecting them and to have their views listened to and taken seriously.
Who’s in the Belfast Youth Forum?
The forum is made up of 40 young people from communities across Belfast.
All of our members are aged between 13-18 (21 if you are disabled or have just left care) and are a forum member for two years.
Calling our next Belfast Youth Forum
We are looking to recruit 40 new young people aged 13-18 to be part of the Belfast Youth Forum from June 2018-2020.
What is the opportunity?
Are you 13-18 years old and live in Belfast?
Do you want to work with politicians and speak up for young people in Belfast?
Do you want to meet new people, get free training and have fun all at the same time?
Belfast City Council is offering 40 young people the opportunity to join its Youth Forum and help make Belfast a better place for all young people.
By applying to become a member of the Belfast Youth Forum you will get to:
- represent young people in Belfast City Council,
- organise and run projects on young people’s issues,
- help make a difference,
- work with politicians to tell them what young people in Belfast need and to make sure young people are listened to,
- experience new things, make new friends and have fun and
- get free training and go on trips.
Fill out our expression of interest form and apply to become a youth forum member now
Youth Forum recruitment session:
If you apply to become a member of Belfast City Councils Youth Forum, you must be free to attend a recruitment session in Belfast City Hall on Saturday 14 April at either 11am or 3pm.
The recruitment session will give you the chance to see the types of work the Youth Forum is involved in, speak to current Youth Forum members and Council staff, and meet other young people who have applied to join.
You will then be asked to come along to Youth Forum interviews on the 19 or 20 April 2018.
Terms and conditions
For you to apply to become a member of the Youth Forum there are some terms and conditions that you have to meet first.
- must be between the ages of 13-18
- must live in the Belfast electoral boundary area
- must attend our recruitment session in Belfast City Hall on 21 April
- must attend an interview in Belfast City Hall on the 25 or 26 April evening time
- must be available to serve on the Youth Forum for the full two year term (June 2018-June 2020)
- must be able to attend two meetings a month to carry out youth forum work
- must follow our Belfast Youth Forum Code of Conduct.
What has the forum done so far?
The Belfast Youth Forum has organised a number of events and campaigns, including:
- The ‘Push it Home’ campaign to raise awareness of the levels of ‘hidden homelessness’ in Belfast
- The Youth hub - a pilot project to test shared youth spaces across the city centre
- A piece of youth-led research on young people’s views of poverty in Belfast
- An intergenerational project with the Seniors Forum to raise awareness of poverty in Belfast
- The #LiveLouder battle of the bands competition and concert in partnership with the Oh Yeah Music centre; we gave the winners of this competition a £1000 bursary
- The Digi Dragons Den app competition to help young people look after their mental health, and the environment. We gave the two winners of this competition a £1000 bursary each.
Belfast Youth Forum 2016-2018
The three campaign areas of our current Youth Forum are:
- Mental Health
- Votes at 16
Poverty: It’s not a choice
Poverty is real, it exists in our city.
Poverty is not a lifestyle choice.
Poverty is not inevitable, we can do something about it.
These are the key messages of the Youth Forum’s latest campaign, called Poverty: It’s not a choice. As part of this campaign, our young people launched their research report on young people’s views on poverty in Belfast on Wednesday 10 May 2017. They presented their key findings to a room of decision makers and influencers in City Hall and put forward their actions for Local Government.
They also teamed up with the Greater Belfast Seniors Forum to tackle poverty in Belfast to create a video that challenged the stereotypes and myths surrounding poverty in Belfast.
Our young people will now raise awareness online and will engage with decision makers and influencers across Belfast to implement the actions for government in their research report.
To join their campaign, you can use Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to share your messages about poverty in Belfast. Help us to challenge the stereotypes, influence decision makers and get people talking.
You can use the hashtag #PovertyNotAChoice
Follow us on Twitter @Belfast_YF and use the #BelfastYouthForum hashtag for updates. And take a look at our Belfast Youth Forum Flickr gallery.
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