In 2007 Chilypep set up the first Youth Council for Sheffield with young people from The Youth Opportunity Fund Grant Panel. The young people worked with us for a year, doing How Your City Works training, and researching youth council structures across the UK. They developed their membership, constitution and publicity, and consulted with other young people about the key issues and priorities across Sheffield for young people. They developed a structure that recognised the need to be truly inclusive and set aside seats on the council for young people from minority and disadvantaged groups. Chilypep set up our Inclusion Projects, where we supported young people from minority groups to identify their issues and priorities and feed these into the Youth Council, and gave a voice to excluded young people such as Refugee and Asylum Seekers through the Kaw Thoo Lie group supporting refugee young people from Burma, the BME Young Womens group Sistahood, and Soul and Fame, a group for young people with learning disabilities and difficulties. More information on this work and how it impacted on young people and the organisations we worked with can be found in our 2010 Evaluation Report
In 2008 Sheffield Youth Council adopted their constitution and presented the Youth Council to the City’s elected members at a full council meeting, where they were recognised as the official Youth Council for Sheffield. For the next 2 years they continued their work, setting up Action Groups around key issues such as bullying, which they campaigned on long and hard to reduce the level of bullying young people were reporting, particularly around discrimination issues such as racism, ableism, homophobia and poverty.
In 2010 SCC decided to fully fund Sheffield Youth Council and put the work out to tender and Sheffield Futures, the City’s Youth Service, picked up the reins. Many of the young people who were part of the original Sheffield Youth Council went on to further and higher education, or work within the Social Care, Education or Youth Work Fields. One joined a band, and another took up politics! Many have remained in contact with us, and some have even returned as adult volunteers!