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New Belfast City Youth Council formed to represent young people in the city

Date: 11 Jan 2024


Twenty-five young people have taken their seats on the Belfast City Youth Council (BCYC), where they will represent the views of their peers on issues impacting on the city's young people.

Their first meeting was held at City Hall yesterday evening where they heard from Lord Mayor of Belfast, Cllr Ryan Murphy, on his own experience as a younger councillor and how young voices can create change in the city.

All BCYC members are aged between 13 and 18, or up to 21 if they have a disability, have just left care or have been referred through social services.

The Belfast City Youth Council will work with key decision-makers to help shape the city and better the lives of young people by meeting to discuss issues, running projects and organising and participating in events.

Speaking at the Youth Council launch, Cllr Ryan Murphy, Lord Mayor of Belfast, said:

“It is a privilege to welcome these 25 Youth Council members to City Hall as they begin a new two year term of the Belfast City Youth Council. Young people are vitally important to this city and their views matter when it comes to making decisions on the future of Belfast. Belfast is a young city – in fact, we’re one of the youngest cities in Europe with young people making up around a third of our people.

“I’m looking forward to following the progress of this newly-elected Youth Council and seeing their hard work played out across all areas of Council. Not only is the Youth Council a platform for the voices of young people to be heard, but is also an excellent vehicle to make new friends, grow leadership and communication skills, and build self-confidence. Some of these young people may go on to pursue a career in politics or leadership and the Youth Council is an excellent introduction to advocacy and working collaboratively in a political environment.

“I commend our Belfast City Youth Council members for their passion and dedication to young peoples’ issues, and look forward to following their progress as they seek to make change and improve provisions and services for future generations.”

The Belfast City Youth Council will continue to meet twice a month at various venues across the city, discussing current and up-and-coming issues in the lives of young people and in the future of the city.

Previous work has included a research report on young people’s opinions on Relationship and Sexual Education (RSE) in Belfast, a regional youth-led mental health campaign Elephant in the Room and an awareness-raising Poverty: It’s Not a Choice report.

For more information on the work of the Belfast City Youth Council, please visit

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