Cardiff Youth Council Exchange to Stuttgart February 2018

The long running relationship with Cardiff’s sister city Stuttgart has been a productive one with more than 30 years of youth exchange programmes. In the last couple of years Cardiff have hosted a number of groups that have included a school group who travelled to Cardiff from Stammheim and Stuttgart Youth Council in turn CYC have been hosted on a number of occasions.

During these visit CYC became increasingly interested in German culture and the way they approached education and youth work. CYC received an invite from Micha Klamm of the Stuttgart Youth Service stating they would be welcome to come anytime.

With this offer in mind CYC then highlighted some funds, sort authorisation from youth service management, choose representatives and organised the study visit.

Micha Klamm, put together a programme which showed the visiting group a wide range of projects and a chance to meet with young people and workers to share their experiences.

Here is our story .

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On a very brisk morning in Cardiff city centre we met at the steps of the National Museum for Wales’s, ready to embark on our journey. After loading the minibus and making sure everyone had their passports (David) and euros we set off in the DofE minibus to Gatwick Airport.

After check in and  swiftly moving through security we were in the departure lounge and eager to go on our big orange and white bird (EasyJet Flight) to Stuttgart
After a very short 1 hour 20 min the plane descended, after a flight through the sunset, we hopped on the minibus and took a short journey (on the wrong side of the road!) to the international  Youth Hostel.

From the top of the hostel, looking out onto the city was magical, the city lights lit up the wonders of Stuttgart in an orange glow. Upon leaving the glass elevator, which took us down to the hostel, we were fed and had time to explore the hostel and our rooms. at this point all most of us wanted to do was to sleep after a long day.

After a quick meeting  to discuss the weeks program and getting to finally meet our host Mr Klamm properly it was time for bed

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Day One

The next morning we headed off to the Rathaus for a tour and to meet Roland the lead worker for the Stuttgart Youth Council. Roland took us on a tour of the Rathaus and to various projects around the city that SYC had been involved in was very interesting, informative, and it taught us all about how their youth council works, its influence over decisions made throughout the city and their relation with the city mayor.

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Later that day, we got to visit the famous Stammheim Jugendhaus were we got to meet Chris, Daniel & Yannis. After meeting the staff we got to go climbing at Climbmax Climbing World, a well-regarded climbing centre which has held many competitions.

We also got to go back and visit Stammheim Jugendhaus where we interacted with local young people and engaged in several games such as; table-football, Ping-Pong and ‘Just Dance’ as well as have our evening meal.

After a long day it was finally back to the Youth Hostel for a good nights sleep.

Day Two

Following a good nights rest,we where up nice and early on  the Wednesday so that we could have a tour of and have a dialogue session with students at Grundschule Stammheim arranged by the school worker Fitch. It was great getting to meet with the children and for them the be able to practice their English speaking skills. They had so many questions for us, all about our country and our lives there. We taught them about our city and also taught them some Welsh.Many of us gained pen-pals during our visit to the school as many of them were enthusiastic to stay in touch.

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After visiting the school it was off to Jugendhaus Mitte for lunch, we had authentic traditional German foods which consisted of a buttery potato salad and Maultaschen. After lunch, we played a city game called ‘TipsnTrips’. This took around 2 hours and had us searching all around the city (a very unusual, fun and interactive way of sightseeing) for landmarks and their origins.

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In the evening we attended a reception at the Rathaus, at which we were honorable guests, and engaged in conversation with many of their young youth councils. Some of us exchanged details in order to stay in touch for when they visit us in July/August. We then played a few rounds of bowling which became very competitive very quickly and was very enjoyable.

Day Three

Thursday, we visited the  Wilhelma Zoo  and
Botanical Gardens where we saw many animals there and took a ludicrous amount of photos, also spending time in the gift shop buying souvenirs  for ourselves and loved ones.

After many hours of ogling at the animals,  it was off to be hosted by Das CANN Jugendhaus  who prepared us a lovely curry, which was just what we needed after being out in the cold all morning. After lunch we popped in to the Skatehalle Stuttgart next door and a skateboarding lesson.  Several of us struggled to pick up the confidence and skills needed to make the most of the skateboarding but a couple of us were very natural with balance and attempting tricks on the boards. Though it was difficult, it was very fun to try something new.

In the afternoon, we visit the city state parliament and met Brigitte Losch, a Member of their Green Party who took us on a tour of the building, answered questions we had and fed us some pretzels and juice. That evening we were hosted by Jugendhaus Sillenbuch and their recently elected members of Stuttgart Youth Council. SYC members prepared us piazzas and we then spend the evening hanging out and find out about what it is like being a young person in our different cities and what were the proprieties in each other cities.

Day Four

On our last full day in Stuttgart we had some free time to explore the city centre and to buy souvenirs and also visit the main library, which was such extraordinary building which looks very bare upon first glance, but once you reach the top floor, it can be seen that within the blank white walls there are rows upon shelves upon columns of books spanning across several floors of the building.

 

In the afternoon we once again met up with Chris at his centre Jugendtreff Sieben Morgen, which bizarrely is next to the famous Stammheim prison. Chris introduced us to  OpenMike, a graffiti artist who gave us a lesson on how to draw in a graffiti style and worked along side us in developing and designing a  large scale graffiti mural about our time in the lovely city across outside the youth centre. once the project was finished it looked pretty amazing. Openmike then gave us a demonstration of his other talent Rapping by spitting some lyrics – which sounded even more impressive in German.

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After saying our farewells to Chris and Openmike it was onto one more youth centre. This time Kirsten and her SYC members hosted us in Jugendhaus Nord, preparing a lovely meal and again getting time to have dialogue sessions with the recently appointed SYC member’s about some of the issues young people face in Stuttgart and what the priorities of the city were.

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Diolch – Danke – Thank you

Cardiff Youth Council would like to thank all the young people, staff and centers that made the exchange possible with special thanks to our wonderful friend Mr Michael Klamm from Stammheim Jugendhaus, who without this exchange would have not been possible.

It was really inspiring to see how Stuttgart has invested in services for young people across the city, from the incredible centres that are used for a variety of activities within each community, to how the Youth Council is funded and supported.

It was amazing to spend time with youth centre members and Stuttgart Youth Council reps to talk about the issues that we are facing in our day to day lives and some of the
similarities.

It was also incredible to be given the chance to explore this wonderful city and meet with
some key decision makers along the way.

We are now be considering how we can return the fabulous hospitality that we received and host a group from Stuttgart in July and august 2018 in Cardiff. Building on the long
friendships and twinning arrangements between North Ely Youth Center and Stammheim Jugendhaus. We look forward to seeing some of the wonderful people we have met in a few months’ time.

 

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The Votes are in… CYC Elections

 

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AND THE VOTES ARE IN…..
CYC have been busy electing 4 members to significant posts in the organisation. Firstly we thanked the 4 CYC members who were stepping down. CYC had a great year and a lot of this was down to the leadership and commitment from those folks who were successful in last years election.

 

Our new Chair is Stephanie Ezeadum (17), she was MYP last year and is studying for her A levels at Cathedral School.

C Y C  ELECTIONS
Our new Vice Chair is Ed Jones (16) a student at Cardiff High and a member of CYC for 2 years. Ed said ‘I am passionate about young people having their voice

heard and look forward to representing the views of young people over the next year!’ Our 2 new elected Members of Youth Parliament for Cardiff are David Abadir (17) and Tabitha Balogun (17). David told CYC members ‘Thank you for voting for me and I will ensure I will work hard to represent Cardiff not only in the House of Commons but throughout the year here in the constituency’

 

Fitzalan High School Develop Community Manifesto

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The iSay Ambassadors Team worked with pupils from Fitzalan High School as part of their Eisteddfod celebrations early this month.

After receiving a workshop to enable participants to understand children’s rights, democracy and participation the young people then split into groups to create a manifesto and discuss issues present in the areas they live.

The community manifesto will now be made available to candidates in the local election taking place in May so they can help work on the issues raised by pupils, which included concerns over safe playing areas, littering, dog fouling, quality of local services and substance misuse.

 

Families First Review

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The Active Involvement Team (AIT) have been running workshops across the city to enable young people to take part in a review of the Families First Programme.

Families First provides support for families across 50 services and has been running in Cardiff for the last four years but it is now coming to the end of its funding cycle.

As part of the development of Families First services and possible re-commissioning AIT developed a 1 hour workshop to provide a platform for young people to identify issues that their families face and to highlight potential solutions.

Participation Worker Lee Richards said ‘It’s been really great over 200 young people have taken part in the workshops with more planned in the coming weeks. We would like to take this time to thank the services, staff and most importantly the young people that have given up their time to help us’

Second Grand Council event 23/03

Hey guys!

As some of you will know, as part of its plan to engage more with young people and CYC, Cardiff Council are working with us to produce three Grand Council events at the City Hall this year; the first of which that was held in December, on the theme of “What Matters to Future Generations”  was a great success.

We’re really looking forward to meeting young people from schools colleges and youth organisations all over Cardiff this March for our second installment, in order to discuss how Cardiff can achieve UNICEF “Child Friendly City” status. This status would recognise Cardiff as a city committed to fulfilling children’s rights.

You can find out more about this initiative here.

We’ll be looking at the criteria needed to meet this, and will have the opportunity to offer solutions from the perspective of young people to the challenges Cardiff faces in becoming “Child Friendly”.

Here are the basic points that have to be met:

Young people… 

  • know and understand their rights know about the services available and how to access them
  • have a say in the design, delivery and evaluation of services
  • experience connected, tailored and responsive services, even if their needs are complex
  • feel safe, nurtured, prioritised and are treated with dignity.

 

For those of you who have received confirmation of their place at the event, I’ll look forward to seeing you there! Remember that the event is being held at Cardiff City Hall, Cathays Park, 9:30-2:00, and light refreshments and a packed lunch will be provided. 

 And for those of you who are not attending the event- is there anything you’d like to comment on with regards to Cardiff becoming a “Child-Friendly City?” If you have any remarks, questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions regarding any of the above points, or anything else, don’t hesitate to get in touch! 

You can comment on this post, tweet us @cardiffyc, get in touch via our Facebook page, or send an email to me at maegandaviesjohn@outlook.com.

Thanks for reading guys, and remember to like and share!

Mae and CYC 🙂

Time Credits

A message to those of you who aren’t sure what these are,

Time credits are those pieces of paper, fondly nicknamed, “monopoly money” by some members of CYC. Some of you have been receiving these since the start of this academic year, and to those who haven’t, they look something like this;

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The whole principle of these tokens is, that for every hour you spend helping out in the community, you get something in return- that’s why for every hour you spend at a CYC meeting, and working on your campaign in the office, you sign off for another on of these.

As lovely as they may look stuck on the wall as wallpaper, or as a decorative cover on one of your schoolbooks, or even making you feel that much richer by sitting there building up into a massive pile in your wallet, I think it’s about time we get out there and spend them. On what, I hear you cry! Well, it actually is pretty exciting. You can do a whole range of things, from going to the gym, to getting your hair cut, to working up a sweat at a Zumba class, to rock climbing, touring the stadium, or a farm, or a castle, to watching a movie… check out the list for yourself, here! 

If NONE of that catches your fancy, which I doubt, you can also donate your time credits to an organisation that could use them to give children opportunities to play, and have fun in the community… or even give them to a friend or family member to use!

So get out there, and spend!

See you soon,

Mae and CYC

(Remember to comment, share, tweet, whatever if you have any questions!)

 

 

Happy New Year!

Hey everyone,

Firstly, sorry for activity being a bit slow over Christmas, but now we’re back!

Just to remind everyone of the meeting we have coming up tomorrow, and to show you the agenda that’s been prepared for tomorrow, here it is;

photo (2).jpgWe have some really exciting news to share with you all about the Mental Health priority, and we’ll be doing some important work on all of our priorities this week, so it’d be great to see you all there!

As always, a warm welcome to any new members, and if you have any questions at all feel free to get in touch 🙂

Look out for some exciting updates really soon!!

Thanks again,

Mae and CYC 🙂