Children’s Commissioner for Wales’ Racism in Schools project

Cardiff Youth Council was invited to take part in the Children’s Commissioner for Wales’ Racism in Schools project looking into the issue of racism and racist incidents in secondary schools. The hope is that their work will help schools strengthen their responses to racism.

The Children’s Commissioner’s office visited our General Meeting yesterday and explored some big questions relating to racism in schools. Cardiff Youth Council really enjoyed the opportunity to share their experiences and look forward to hearing more about the future of this project!

Derry & Strabane: North West Ministry of Youth Visit

We welcomed and hosted our friends from the North West Ministry of Youth (NWMY), Derry & Strabane, Northern Ireland. The NWMY are supporting the council in Derry & Strabane on their drive to become a UNICEF child friendly authority, just as we have through our Children and Young People’s Advisory Board (CYPAB).

The young people from NWMY attended an event being run by the Cardiff Child Friendly Team at Techniquest, which was celebrating school across Cardiff who are part of the UNICEF Right’s Respecting Schools Award (RRSA). The NWMY were able to see what some of the schools having been doing as part of their journey on the RRSA and get a flavour of what is involved.

Later the MWMY met with us at chambers in City Hall where they were shown around the building to see where we meet for our General Meetings, they were then able to discuss a number of processes and mechanisms which we follow and ask further questions and how Cardiff Council engage with us.

As a team building exercise we took NWMY to Escape Rooms where we had a great time getting to know each other and try and escape from the rooms.

The following night we all went to play crazy golf in St David’s 2, where we got to build relationships further before all going out for pizza. It was only a fleeting visit from our friends but we are hopeful that this is just the start of ongoing of educational and cultural exchanges.

Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders:

Cardiff Youth Council’s Induction at HCE Adventure

In an inspiring initiative that embodies the spirit of community engagement and youth empowerment, we recently organised a comprehensive induction program for our new members. Hosted at HCE Adventure (Total Team Building) in Cardiff, the event provided a dynamic platform for young individuals to delve into the core values, objectives, and functions of CYC. The induction aimed not only to introduce the new recruits to the council but also to foster a sense of unity, awareness, and understanding among them through interactive activities and focused discussions. The event centred around five key learning outcomes, each designed to cultivate a deeper appreciation for civic engagement, democracy, and the importance of advocacy.

Session Highlights

  • Unveiling the Purpose of CYC and its role the induction commenced with a compelling session that explored the essence of the Cardiff Youth Council and its integral role within the local community. Through engaging presentations and group discussions, the participants gained insight into the council’s mission, vision, and its commitment to advocating for the rights and welfare of young people. By understanding CYC’s significance, the newcomers developed a stronger sense of purpose and enthusiasm for their upcoming journey.
  • Crafting a Group Contract Building a strong foundation for collaboration and mutual respect was at the forefront of the induction process. Participants collectively created a group contract that outlined shared values, expectations, and conduct guidelines. This exercise not only encouraged open communication but also set the stage for a harmonious and productive environment where each member’s voice would be heard and respected.
  • Breaking the Ice with Fun Activities To break down barriers and encourage camaraderie, light hearted ice breaker activities were seamlessly integrated into the program. Laughter echoed through the venue as participants engaged in team challenges, fostering a sense of unity and camaraderie among the CYC members. These activities laid the groundwork for meaningful connections, allowing the new recruits to feel more comfortable and connected within the CYC community.
  • Exploring Key Learning Outcomes
    1. Understanding the UNCRC’s Role in Wales – A critical facet of the induction involved a deep dive into the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and its significance in Wales. Through interactive workshops and discussions, participants grasped the far-reaching impact of the UNCRC on young individuals and gained insight into how CYC’s advocacy aligns with its principles.
    2. Democracy for Adults, Children, and Young People – A nuanced understanding of democracy was cultivated, with participants examining its various facets and implications for different age groups. The induction helped dispel misconceptions and empowered the young leaders to engage confidently in democratic processes.
    3. Exploring Local Council Opportunities – CYC’s commitment to local governance was underscored as participants delved into the inner workings of local councils and CYC’s role within them. This session opened doors to various avenues for active participation and advocacy within the community.
    4. Grasping Real-World Participation – The concept of participation was demystified through real-world examples and case studies. Participants were equipped with the knowledge to translate theory into practice, ensuring that their advocacy efforts would yield tangible results.
    5. Immersion into Child Friendly Cardiff (CFC) – The induction’s final learning outcome revolved around Child Friendly Cardiff (CFC), an initiative dedicated to making the city a more welcoming and inclusive place for young people. Through immersive activities, participants gained insights into CFC’s initiatives and discovered ways to contribute effectively.

The afternoon session of the induction at HCE Adventure was a thrilling blend of fun and skill-building. As the sun cast a warm glow over the picturesque venue, members eagerly immersed themselves in a series of engaging activities. The enchanting twang of bowstrings resonated as participants tried their hand at archery, honing their focus and precision in a friendly competition. Laughter and cheers echoed through the air as archers aimed for the bullseye, fostering a sense of healthy competition and shared achievement. Additionally, the team building exercises forged strong bonds among the CYC members, promoting effective communication, cooperation, and problem-solving. These dynamic activities not only added an element of excitement but also exemplified the spirit of unity that CYC champions, making the afternoon an unforgettable experience of empowerment and enjoyment.

The Cardiff Youth Council’s induction at HCE Adventure stands as a testament to the unwavering commitment of young individuals towards community engagement, advocacy, and meaningful change. By instilling a profound understanding of CYC’s mission, fostering collaboration, and delving into essential learning outcomes, the event empowered the new members to become informed and active advocates for youth rights and well-being. As these young leaders embark on their journey with CYC, they are armed with knowledge, camaraderie, and a shared vision for a brighter, more inclusive future for Cardiff’s youth.

We look forward to the next induction, watch this space.

Plan UK Consultation

The Gender Equality Steering Group, who are also part of Cardiff Youth Council, were invited to take part in a consultation with Plan UK. Plan UK work to advance equality for girls all over the world.

Plan UK were conducting creative workshops, as part of a large-scale research project, to explore young people’s views on the challenges, issues and opportunities facing those who have had female experiences in the UK, to highlight what changes need to be made to improve the lives

The young people from the Gender Equality Steering Group really enjoyed the opportunity to take part in the research and are keen to be involved in other similar opportunities.

Our priorities for the next year

Over the last few months we have been looking at data that we received from the School Health Research Network (SHRN) and the Child Friendly Cardiff Pupil Survey.

The SHRN is a partnership between Welsh Government, Public Health Wales, Cancer Research UK, the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research and Data (WISERD) and Cardiff University. Every two years they run a Student Health & Wellbeing survey which asks students about a range of health behaviours and outcomes as well as their age, gender and how they feel about school. There were over 11,000 respondents to this survey.

The Child Friendly Cardiff Pupil Survey was designed to capture children’s views on a wide range of topics, including understanding their awareness of Children’s Rights, satisfaction with council and other public services, and what issues matter to them. There were over 7000 respondents to this survey.

After going through this data and speaking with other young people we put forward 5 motions to be debated and voted upon so that we can set our priorities up until July 2024.

The motions put forward were:

  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Bullying
  • Environment
  • Social Media (Fake news /reality)
  • Cost of living

On Wednesday 15th February we had a really good debate on the motions put forward and then voted on them.

We used the single transferable voting system to ensure that what ever priorities were set had enough backing from our members and the outcome is that we will we focusing on

  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Cost of Living

We will now start to look at developing our priorities into workable and achievable outcomes…. so watch this space.

These are not the only things we will be working on this year as we have a newly from group looking at Gender Equality as well as the work our Children and Young People’s Advisory Board (CYPAB) are doing with the Child Friendly Cardiff Team.

On top of this our Reformation group are working hard to help develop and improve what we do as a youth council.

Gender Equality Steering Group

The Universal Declaration of Human rights (1948) states that “everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, … birth or other status.”

International law therefore states that Gender Equality is a human right.

Cardiff Youth Council has set up a Gender Equality Steering Group to explore experiences of gender inequality and what can be done within the city to improve this.

We had our first meeting today where it was great to get like-minded young people together discussing gender and their experiences.

The main themes that came from our initial discussion were centred on misogyny, gender stereotyping and young people being able to explore their own gender positively and safely. We identified that the internet also had a massive impact on each of these themes, whether it be through negative experiences on social media or the increased popularity of misogynistic influencers.

We look forward to our next meeting on the 16th February to discuss this further!

Grŵp Llywio Cydraddoldeb Rhywedd

Mae’r Datganiad Cyffredinol o hawliau Dynol (1948) yn nodi bod gan “bawb hawl i’r holl hawliau a rhyddid a osodir ymlaen yn y Datganiad hwn, heb wahaniaethu o unrhyw fath, megis hil, lliw, rhyw, iaith, crefydd, … geni neu statws arall.”

Mae cyfraith ryngwladol felly’n dweud bod Cydraddoldeb Rhywedd yn hawl ddynol.

Mae Cyngor Ieuenctid Caerdydd wedi sefydlu Grŵp Llywio Cydraddoldeb Rhywedd er mwyn archwilio profiadau o anghydraddoldeb rhwng y rhywiau a’r hyn y gellir ei wneud yn y ddinas i wella hyn.

Cawsom ein cyfarfod cyntaf heddiw lle’r oedd yn wych cael pobl ifanc o’r un anian at ei gilydd yn trafod rhyw a’u profiadau.

Roedd y prif themâu a ddaeth o’n trafodaeth gychwynnol yn canolbwyntio ar misogyny, stereoteipio rhyw a phobl ifanc yn gallu archwilio eu rhyw eu hunain yn gadarnhaol ac yn ddiogel. Nodwyd bod y rhyngrwyd hefyd wedi cael effaith enfawr ar bob un o’r themâu hyn, boed hynny drwy brofiadau negyddol ar y cyfryngau cymdeithasol neu’r poblogrwydd cynyddol o ddylanwadwyr misogynistaidd.

Edrychwn ymlaen at ein cyfarfod nesaf ar yr 16eg o Chwefror i drafod hyn ymhellach!

House of Commons UK Youth Parliament

Our Member of UK Youth Parliament Shifa travelled to London this month determined to make a change for young people in Cardiff and across the UK. We asked Shifa how the trip went and what they discussed, she had this to say.

“As an MYP for Cardiff, one of the opportunities I’ve been granted is the chance to debate in the House of Commons as part of UKYP’s Annual Conference. It was an exciting and interesting experience, and I particularly enjoyed getting to meet some of the 250 other MYP’s from across the UK for the first time, as well as getting to meet Sir Lindsay Hoyle. The main issue that was voted for in the last Make Your Mark Ballot was Health, so we were given 5 subtopics related to that to debate in the Commons, and then there was another vote to decide our focus for the academic year. The topics were:
• The Impact of Discrimination on Health
• Mental Health
• Cost of Living and Health
• Education and Health
• Environment and Health

I was lucky enough to be chosen to speak on the first topic, although the winning topic was Cost of Living & Health. I have also recently been selected as the Social Action Group member for Wales, meaning I will play a role in shaping the campaign for Cost of Living & Health over the coming months. Additionally, the full motion will be turned into a petition which, if it reaches 100,000 signatures, will be considered for debate in the House of Commons.”

Shifa is also one of the lead organisers for this years YouthCon bringing together young people and MYP’s from across Wales on the 11th March!

Cllr Wild at CYC General Meeting

Cllr Caro Wild, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, attended our latest General Meeting in the Chambers of City Hall to talk through the One Planet Cardiff strategy.

The One Planet Cardiff strategy is Cardiff Council’s ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030 – further information can be seen here –

Cllr Wild ran through the OPC agenda and opened up the debate to the floor, CYC members were very vocal and gave Cllr Wild feedback to consider.

Mynychodd y Cynghorydd Caro Wild, Aelod Cabinet dros Newid Hinsawdd, ein Cyfarfod Cyffredinol diweddaraf yn Siambrau Neuadd y Ddinas i drafod strategaeth Caerdydd Un Blaned.

Strategaeth Caerdydd Un Blaned yw uchelgais Cyngor Caerdydd i ddod yn garbon niwtral erbyn 2030 – gellir gweld rhagor o wybodaeth yma –

Aeth y Cynghorydd Wild drwy’r agenda CPH ac agorodd y ddadl i’r llawr, roedd aelodau CIC yn uchel eu cloch a rhoddodd adborth i’r Cynghorydd Wild i’w ystyried.

Service of Prayer for Queen Elizabeth II

By Zack Hellard – Vice Chair or Cardiff Youth Council and Member of the UK Youth Parliament

On Friday the 16th of September, I attended the Service of Prayer and Reflection in Llandaff Cathedral to mourn the death of our late Queen Elizabeth II in the presence of His Majesty the King Charles III and the Queen Consort. I was present as a representative of Cardiff Youth Council and notably the young people in Cardiff whom admired and respected the late Queen deeply.

The event was a solemn and respectful reflection of the life of a monarch who had devoted her entire life to the service of our nation; a chance for everyone to pay homage to all of the good she had done. To be invited to such an event as a representative of Cardiff is one of the greatest honours of my life- to be able to pay the respects of both myself and those absent in such a historic way. 

With the closing of the Second Elizabethan Age, we are reminded of the values Queen Elizabeth II instilled into every action she did, notably those of compassion and courage. The life of Queen Elizabeth II is one we can draw many life lessons from, whether that be from her time as a steadfast and reliable presence or as the great reformer.

God save the King.