Hackney Youth Charter is a set of guidelines, designed to provide service providers with the necessary information on how to involve children and young people in ways that are both effective and meaningful. It sends some clear messages from the young people of Hackney to decision makers.
The key messages arising from consultation with young people in the development of the Charter are summarised below:
- We have the right to be involved and have a say over services that we use such
- When we get involved in projects and services we need to be told from the beginning what is expected of us and what we will get out of our involvement.
- Young people in Hackney come from a range of communities. Organisations need to respect our different needs and cultures when planning projects, because not all of us want to get involved in the same way.
- We have our own views and opinions on things that affect us and we want organisations to offer us training to be able to find out what issues are important to other young people in Hackney.
- We are capable of making our own decisions but we need adults to give us support and information to do so.
- We want to work with adults in deciding the most meaningful way for us to be involved.
- We need good standards of training and support to become confident active participants. This will help us to understand what we need to do and make us more committed.
- We need organisations to help us find out about other projects and services that we can get involved with afterwards. This will help us to feel that our skills are valued and used in the community.
- We are capable of taking responsibility for ourselves and projects. Organisations should respect this and help us decide the level of our involvement
- Organisations should encourage us to take part in planning projects and services. They should make sure our ideas are taken seriously when it comes to planning budgets and activities. If we can not be involved with some things make sure you explain why.
- Helping out with the planning process will help us feel more confident and committed about our involvement and make it feel more real.
- Adults need to spend time developing good relationships with us. We need to feel that we can trust the adults we work with.
- Most young people get actively involved because they want to make Hackney a better place. For young people who don’t usually get involved in projects a selection of other incentives should be offered, (not everybody likes MC’ing or book vouchers)
- Organisations must treat us with maturity and respect but our involvement should be fun and relevant.
- We should continuously be involved in inspecting services and projects to make sure that they meet our needs.
- Every year services and ‘projects’ should report to young people explaining how they are involving children and young people as active participants.