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The Bucks Youth Summit 2024

Introduction

On Monday 11 March 2024, the second Bucks Youth Summit took place at the Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury!
The event was planned and hosted by young people in Buckinghamshire’s county-wide youth forum, the Youth Voice Executive Committee.
The event invited young people from across the county to share their voice on the biggest issues and areas of interest for young people in Buckinghamshire today.

photo of lots of young people at The Waterside

Key highlights

  • The event was a huge success, with 237 young people from 24 schools and 8 groups in attendance!
  • The young attendees were diverse, with many different backgrounds and life experiences represented. They included many young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, young people with care experience, Electively Home Educated young people, young people with experience of the youth justice system, and gender non-binary and trans young people.
  • The young people that attended the Youth Summit chose which 4 of the 10 conversation spaces on offer they would like to join. This year, the young people selected their choices in advance. Every conversation space was well-attended and engaged with.
  • As in the Bucks Youth Summit 2023, Aylesbury Youth Action coordinated a Young Journalists Team on the day. They took photos and interviewed attendees and facilitators to write up articles about the event.
  • A Youth Ballot ran in partnership with the Council’s Elections Team. Each young attendee received a ballot paper and voted for their priorities. The ballot papers were counted live during the event, with the results shared in the closing remarks.
  • 12 partner organisations hosted a stall in the marketplace, sharing information with young attendees on support available and opportunities to get involved in other youth voice projects.
  • A Quiet Space was available so that any young person who felt overwhelmed or uncomfortable could have some time out. The Quiet Space offered music, fidget toys, and supportive adults to talk to.
  • Every conversation space had young facilitators and/or young adults facilitators involved, and young people acted in leadership positions and supporting roles throughout the event.

Format

  • The Summit’s young attendees arrived at the Waterside Theatre from 9.30am. Each school and group was given a goody bag containing the Bucks Youth Summit 2024 Event Brochure, as well as snacks, name lanyards and fidget toys, timetables for the day, feedback cards and ballot papers.
  • Once everyone was registered and had been ushered to their seats in the auditorium, they were welcomed to the event by Youth Voice Executive Committee members Jess, Izi and Pippa, and Rachael Shimmin, Chief Executive of Buckinghamshire Council. The opening remarks included the group agreement for the event and information on The Quiet Space.
  • The young attendees then made their way to their conversation spaces, as per a timetable that matched their choices.
  • Between conversation sessions 2 and 3, there was a break and the young people checked in with their teachers and group leads in the auditorium. Between conversation sessions 3 and 4, the young people had lunch (which they brought themselves) and browsed the stalls in the marketplace.
  • After conversation session 4, the young people returned to the auditorium for the closing remarks. Youth Voice Executive Committee members Shree, Emily, Madhulika, Sahithi and Chidum thanked everybody for their involvement and support. They also revealed the results of the Youth Ballot, and explained what would happen after the event. Councillor Joe Baum, Deputy Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, also spoke in the closing remarks, sharing this thanks and enthusiasm for the event.
  • On their way out, the young attendees and school and group leads gave lots of reviews and helpful feedback about the event. You can read all of the feedback on the event on the Bucks Youth Summit 2024 Feedback page.
photo of a basketball activity at the Youth Summit

The Conversation Spaces

The conversation spaces were hosted by adult professionals from various specialist organisations, as well as young and young adult facilitators. They had different activities to enable the young attendees to get involved, share their views, and have fun. They were designed so that the young attendees’ ideas and feedback can be used to make a positive difference.

 

Mental Health

Discussions and activities on mental health, including what schools can do to improve young people’s mental health.

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Cost of Living Crisis

A safe space to discuss the cost of living crisis alongside positive and constructive activities to help make things better.

Read more

 

Relationships with the Police

Open and honest conversations around young people’s perceptions of the Police and how the Police engage with communities.

Read more

 

Corner for Creative Thinking

Professional visual, rap and video artists helped young people explore their access to creative opportunities.

Read more

 

The Vape Space

Young people and expert professionals shared experiences and information on the reality of vaping.

Read more

 

The SEND Space

Explored reasonable adjustments and disabled history, while fostering young people’s abilities to support each other.

Read more

 

The Green Space

A tactile workshop covering young people’s access to nature and the environment.

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The Political Space

Explored questions around young people’s involvement in Politics in a mock parliament style.

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The LGBTQ+ Space

Explored discrimination, LGBTQ+ messaging in politics, and Pride Inspiration in a colourful, vibrant, and celebratory atmosphere.

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Sex Education: Do Better

A safe place to discuss Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and how it can be as useful and insightful for young people as possible.

Read more

icon of pen in speech bubble

The Ballot

Read about the Ballot that ran as part of the Youth Summit 2024.

Read more

Feedback

Some highlights of the feedback are included below.
You can view all of the feedback on the event on the Bucks Youth Summit 2024 Feedback page.

Feedback from young attendees (“What was good?”)

      • “Interesting talks and fun activities”
      • “Inclusivity, safe space to openly talk”
      • “All the friends I made today”
      • “New understanding of different topics, socialising with others”
      • “I have enjoyed speaking to new people and learning interesting facts”
      • “I really liked all of the sensory activities in The Green Space and The Mental Health Space”
      • “The staff were all lovely”
      • “I enjoyed that everyone could say anything without being judged”
      • “Talks and stalls were interesting. Whole area felt very welcoming, safe and inclusive. The Quiet Space was helpful”.

 

Feedback from school staff and group leads

      • “The students were overjoyed to be listened to”
      • “Such a well-organised event from planning stages to today. Very inclusive and accessible.”
      • “A safe space for our pupils to share their views”

 

Feedback from adult facilitators

      • “It really was meaningful participation and it is such a breath of fresh air when that happens. I absolutely LOVED being involved. It was a fabulous day, it was organised so well and really put young people at the heart of it all.” – Emily, SEND Commissioning Officer and Facilitator for The SEND Space
      • “Thank you for the privilege of taking part in this event and working with some amazing young people. All I heard was young people praising the fact they felt heard and valued.” – Juanita, Team Leader for the Mental Health Support Team, Facilitator in The Mental Health Space MHST

 

What’s Next?

The outputs of each conversation are being collated by facilitators. Projects are launching to ensure action is taken in response to the young attendees’ feedback.
These projects will be monitored by the Youth Voice Executive Committee and young attendees will be kept updated on progress via email and this website.

photo of 3 young people at a table

More information

If you have any questions, comments, or ideas, please contact youthvoicebucks@buckinghamshire.gov.uk.
The Bucks Youth Summit, Youth Voice Executive Committee, and the whole Youth Voice Bucks programme help us to deliver Buckinghamshire Council’s Youth Participation Strategy.

Read more on the About Us page

young people sitting at a giant blue poster
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