20 May 2010

Young people who want to drive change for their peers in the county are being sought for Northamptonshire County Council’s new young leader’s initiative.

This scheme is the first of its kind and encourages all young people aged 16 to 19 years to get involved for their chance to be elected as a young leader.

Connexions has been awarded the contract for one year as a pilot but the county council has set aside £150,000 over three years to fund the scheme.

The scheme will mean seven young leaders are elected to represent each district and borough of Northamptonshire, with one person being the leader for the county.

The newly elected young leaders will join forces with the eight Northamptonshire members of Youth Parliament and will use their own ideas to create and deliver area based campaigns which will make a difference to young people in their area, with a budget of £25k.

Connexions Youth Involvement Team -will support the young people to engage and empower them to have a voice in the decision making processes that affect their lives.

Leader of Northamptonshire County Council Councillor Jim Harker said: "It is so important we value our young people and help them to achieve. I believe this scheme will prove a real success with young people and give them a voice and a chance to get involved.

"This initiative will promote pride in Northamptonshire, raise aspirations, self-esteem and achievement, and to improve the image of Northamptonshire’s young people within local communities."

All young leaders will meet six times a year and will be invited to attend the Children and Young People’s Partnership Shadow Board.

The overall young leader will be invited to attend selected meetings of the county council’s full council, scrutiny committees, Children and Young People’s Partnership Board and other relevant meetings. They will also be invited to speak at full council.

Members of Youth Parliament from Northamptonshire are helping to find their new colleagues by spreading the word on Facebook to attract 16 to 19 year olds.

Information about the group and application forms can be found on the Young Leaders Facebook page www.facebook.com/northantsyoungleaders

Adam Gravely, deputy member of Youth Parliament and NVYA volunteer of the year, said: "It’s a great initiative to take part in local democracy, as you will get so many unique opportunities to be listened to, make lots of new friends and have a chance to make a difference in your community."

The deadline for applications is Friday 4th June with voting taking place during June and a celebration event in July.

Nominations and elections enquiries should be directed to Marian Anderson - Youth Involvement Team on:
manderson@connexions-northamptonshire.org.uk or tel 01604 824191 or 07739 657047