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Leicester youth project singled out for Commonwealth praise

Published on Wednesday, April 25, 2018

A LEICESTER project which helps to promote democracy and engagement among young people is one of only 20 projects to be singled out for praise across the entire Commonwealth.


Leicester’s Young Consultants project, which is run by the city council’s youth service, helps young people to engage with democracy through the Young People’s Council and other schemes where they can make their voices heard and have a say on local decision-making.


It has been included in a document called Youth Solutions from the Commonwealth, which shares the successes of grass-roots youth organisations from across all five regions of the Commonwealth.


Leicester’s young consultants are available for organisations to commission when they want to get young people’s input into a piece of work. One of their most successful projects has been ‘Reclaim Radical’, a series of films spelling out the difference between ‘radical’ and ‘radicalised’.


The films were commissioned by the local Prevent programme and can be used by professionals who work with young people to spark debate and create a ‘safe space’ in which to talk about radicalisation.


‘Reclaim Radical’ was nominated for a British Youth Council Youth Voice Star Award.


Young people’s engagement officer at the city council, Bez Killeen, said: “We are really honoured to have one of our projects included in this document, alongside initiatives from Commonwealth countries like India, Australia, Cameroon and Gambia.


“Leicester young people have done themselves proud with Reclaim Radical and the Young Consultants project. It’s been my pleasure to work with them and I’m delighted they’re getting this global recognition for the work they’re doing to make sure their voices are heard.”


The document was produced for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which took place in London from 16-20 April. It’s a biennial summit gathering together the heads of Commonwealth nations.


The meeting had a greater focus on young people than any other CHOGM before, because the Commonwealth is young, with more than 60% of its population being under the age of 30.


Commonwealth countries aim to share best practice across their network, which is why the document was produced to showcase the successful work of various grass-roots youth organisations.


Deputy city mayor Cllr Sarah Russell, who leads on children, young people and schools, said: “I’m incredibly proud of the excellent work we do to engage young people and get them involved in local democracy. This is further proof that this is ground-breaking work – and now it has an international profile. My congratulations go to all the young people and staff involved in this project.”


The Youth Solutions from the Commonwealth document can be found by clicking here .