3 Days down, 2 more to go!

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We’ve grown fond of our adoptive pet “Ze Pug” who will be missed

We’ve passed the halfway point and we are more than halfway through our Stuttgart venture!12179536_1067327799967194_995466318_n 12188387_1067327816633859_1194660302_n

Saturday, ’twas the dedicated day of business whilst all others in the city took a day off and rested we powered on, of course with lots of lovely members of Jugendrat Stuttgart!

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A few CYC members fangirling over this adorable model city

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And so we say hello to this lovely building again! Not to bore you guys with details of the ‘top secret’ discussions that took place that day as there will be a blog with the report of our discussions coming soon – so watch this space! But the morning essentially consisted of various different members of our delegation giving varied styled presentations, whereupon these presentations were broken up by casual (but also highly productive) discussions, where we ventured into the comparisons of our two similar yet so different cities. We ended our ‘work session’ in true politics style and signed a really very symbolic flag which was signed last by the Cardiff delegation that visited Stuttgart many years ago.

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10 POINTS TO WHOEVER CAN TELL ME WHAT THESE ARE CALLED AND WHERE I CAN FIND THEM AGAIN! DELICIOUS!

After a few needed hours of free time within the city centre, with the entire selection of fabulously lustrous money spending opportunities at our fingertips, we regrouped and went back to the youth hostel to get ready for our final night in Stuttgart!

12197328_904995466256786_1472463642_oLet no man say we didn’t get a full view of the city; throughout the past few days we visited so many different ‘youth houses’ and experienced true life for a young German in Stuttgart, and this center was yet another fine example of how well Stuttgart’s ‘youth houses’ are working out. We enjoyed music from some close to home bands and it was a great, relaxing wind-down to the end of another busy-bee schedule!

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Must be said, it really was an AWESOME atmosphere!

But from here guys, we check out for one last time in Stuttgart! Our next post shall be the last leg of our highly educational, eye-opening trip and we’ll see you on the other side!

Xinyu and CYC ^.^

4 days down, 1 to go!

CYC’s Stuttgart Adventures: Installment drei!

So, it’s time for the third installment of Adventures of CYC in Stuttgart!

We began the day by spending a few hours in Stuttgart’s zoo; where we saw vibrant flamingos, adorably cuddly gorillas, munching fruit bats (who are far from the scary blood sucking stereotypical bat), exotic bird species from tropical areas of the world, and many more.12177735_1067327783300529_1984376527_n 12179076_1067327589967215_318836819_n 12179161_1067327643300543_150747236_n12179242_1067327773300530_1557668953_n

The zoo was highly enjoyable and even for those who weren’t head-over-heels for animals before, I think it’s safe to say that there’s definitely a new found soft spot for at least some these beautiful and majestic creatures. (ft. Stuttgart’s very own Dory and Nemo – safe and sound)

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One of our CYC members, Luke has a new found friendship with this fluffy mammal. Meanwhile, this undying love between Mae and Alaw was rediscovered.

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Our mischievous mob did have to bid farewell to the zoo and move onto the next element of the day; the city tour! This was our opportunity to see and view all the great projects that our counterparts are working on currently. And so it starts…12190507_904995216256811_516770768_o

One thing all touring members did notice was the fantastic amount of artwork around the city. Albeit, graffiti, street art, architectural prowess or just the skyline at dusk. 12193118_904995616256771_832413885_o

Art Throughout Cardiff Collage

All of our members left this inspiring tour with a fresh view on urban life. We had the opportunity to see one of Stuttgart’s many urban rooftop gardens, which now, of course in the midst of autumn, has been turned to a venue available to hire for those parties or gatherings you may wish to host.12185781_503519366474025_24201805_o12016292_904995379590128_2079971825_o12179425_904995346256798_276784724_n

Even this seemingly plain multistory car park holds so much creativity, on the walk up you would just see sneak peaks of each individual artists stamp on their area.

12193156_904995326256800_195727158_o Just along the outskirts of this carpark was one of the projects Jugendrat Stuttgart had been working on for 3 years. Consisting of Dutsch inspired skate ramps which doubled up as a ‘chill zone’, 3G Football pitch and a wall for legal graffiti.

To end our hectically busy, yet highly rewarding day, we wound down and visited a youth centre on the other side of the city and cooked our own meals. After filling up on lots of scrumptious food, games of pool were played while our 2 lovely singer song writers accompanied us with more of their original creations.

Thank you Stuttgart for another wonderful day!

On the second day of Stuttgart…

We awoke to beautiful early morning views, before setting off, on what would be our first opportunity to explore Stuttgart in the light of day.

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3The first leg of the journey meant our first experience of the interesting world of the Stuttgart tram service. We don’t have one here, but at first sight they are essentially massive trains which run using tracks in the road, and wires in the sky; much more energy efficient, faster, and greener than the transport services here in Cardiff- will we see this trend appear at home?


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As soon as we stepped off the tram and emerged from the tunnel onto the street, we were immediately struck by how clean everything is over there- not a sign of pigeon poop on a single statue where Stuttgart are concerned. The streets are wide, open and modern, the buildings beautiful and unique. It’s safe to say the majority of our group fell in love. Firstly, we wandered along Königstrasse, the main shopping street in Stuttgart’s city centre, appropriately named King Street, as if in parallel to our Queen Street. On the floor, a large circular mural decorated the floor, a commemoration to each of Stuttgart’s ten sister cities, including Cairo in Egypt, Mumbai in India, St.Louis in the US, and Samara in Russia. Obviously we needed a picture break to snap the best one… 
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We eventually approached the grand steps of the Rathaus, which, despite what the name might suggest, has less to do with rodents and more to do with politicians! As with most of Stuttgart, the Rathaus was impressive due to its size, its modern appearance, and unique qualities.

Distraction number one came in the form of a lift, unlike any other we’d seen before. As opposed to stopping and taking you to your designated floor, it continues to move, forcing you to jump on and off of your own accord… and it isn’t easy! There’ll be videos on Facebook soon.

After an interesting tour with even more gorgeous views and interesting info…

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a beautiful fruit and veg market, held 3 days a week
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the extremely modern town hall
the pretzel thing is not a myth- they were everywhere! offered at the townhall in horse shapes to commemorate Stuttgart
the pretzel thing is not a myth- they were everywhere! offered at the townhall in horse shapes to commemorate Stuttgart

… we head over to an information centre, where we partook in a “City Challenge” run by “tipsntrips”. From being lifted up by a stranger, to finding out information and statistics about Stuttgart by asking its inhabitants, to taking embarrassing photos, this two hour challenge really was a challenge! Putting our German-speaking, teamwork, and walking power to the test!

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After freshening up, we had an exciting evening of youth culture. Our two musicians, Niamh and Rhiannon performed amazing music on stage in Stuttgart with another young singer-songwriter from the city itself. The atmosphere was amazing, as we all enjoyed beautiful original content along with covers to sing-along to from our very own Cardiffians, who made fantastic contributions to our trip- thanks guys!

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We also got to watch and partake in a “Paint Battle”. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a paintball style free for all, but rather something more organised, interesting, and a much better way to utilise the extremely talented artists who joined us on our trip. As opposed to throwing paint on each other, paint was thrown on canvass, as the artists fought to create better pictures than the other country’s team in three rounds. The topics for painting were called out by the audience, who also got the deciding vote on the winners. Go team Cardiff, the unanimous winners!  Thanks Cerys and Astrid for taking part in everything we did, and to Lydia, one of our new members for your contribution in the last round of the art battle!

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Cwricwlwm Am Fywyd

Helo pawb,

Llynedd, un o’r blaenoriaethau wnaeth ymddangos ar bleidlais “Make Your Mark” ac agenda CIC oedd “Cwriculum Am Fywyd”- olyga hyn bod nifer fawr o bobl ifanc ar draws y wlad yn teimlo nad yw’r addysg mae nhw’n derbyn yn yr ysgol yn addas i’w paratoi am yr anhawsterau bydden nhw’n cwrdd yn y “byd go iawn” ar ol gadael. Nid yn unig hwn- dydy’r cwricwlwm ddim yn cynnig y gwybodaeth a sgiliau sydd angen arnom i fyw bywydau hapus, iach nawr; mae’r pwyslais ar raddau ac arholiadau yn ologu bod pobl ifanc yn ffeindio hi yn gynyddol amhosib i ymdopi a’r straen.

Penderfynnom cynnal arolwg i ddarganfod beth oedd barn pobl ifanc am y gwersi ABCH derbynnon nhw, pa cynnwys mae nhw’n credu sydd ar goll, a pa gwelliannau hoffen nhw gweld.

Bu ymddangos canlyniadau… diddorol. Ar draws Caerdydd, wnaeth disgyblion o bob ysgol cymryd rhan, a’r peth mwyaf nodweddiadol oedd yr anghysondebau dengys yn y canlyniadau. Does dim gwir strwythr, neu cwricwlwm ar gyfer ABCH, gan olygu bod gwahaniaethau mawr mewn answadd y dysgu bu rhai yn derbyn- felly, er dywed rhai eu bod nhw’n hapus a’u gwersi, wnaeth hyn annog gwestiwn, yn enwedig pan nad oedd dros hanner yn argyhoeddiedig… a oes blant sydd yn hapus cael gwers rhydd sydd ddim yn gwneud gwahaniaeth, i wneud dim byd ynddo? Beth bynnag yw’r rhesymau, yn unfrydol gelwir pobl ifanc am wersi ar sawl pwnc sydd ar goll, yn amrywio o bynciau pwysig fel dynoliaeth, cymorth cyntaf ac ymwybyddiaeth iechyd meddylion, gwersi wedi’u cyflwyno gan arbenigwyr cymwysiedig.

Troesom y ganlyniadau pwysicaf mewn i inffograffeg (ydy,  mae’n gair), ac mae’n bosib ei weld yma; Infographic_v2 (4)

Beth mae’r canlyniadau yma yn eu olygu? Ydych chi’n cytuno? Gadewch i ni wybod yn y sylwadau, neu ar Twitter, neu Facebook!

Diolch i bawb daeth i’r gyfarfod ym Medi, rhydym yn edrych ymlaen at weld chi eto yn hwyrach yn y mis!

first meeting

Maegan a CIC 🙂

Curriculum For Life

Hey everyone, happy Sunday!

Last year, one of the priorities which emerged from the Make Your Mark ballot and onto CYC’s agenda, was “Curriculum For Life”- this means that a large number of young people felt that the education they received at school wasn’t adequate in preparing them for the “real-world” challenges they would face after leaving. Not just that- the curriculum doesn’t prepare us for the challenges we face now, it fails to provide us with the skills and information we need to live happy, healthy lives; the emphasis on grades and exams is such that young people are increasingly unable to cope with the pressure.

We decided to conduct a survey on what young people thought of their PSE lessons, what content they think is missing, and how they think they could be improved.

The results were… interesting. Young people from different schools all over Cardiff took part, and the most notable thing about the results, were the inconsistencies that they showed us. There is no real structure, or any set curriculum for PSE, meaning there are huge differences in the quality of the teaching some people received- though quite a few people claimed they were happy with their PSE lessons, we question what this means when over half weren’t convinced… are some people just happy to have a free lesson which doesn’t mean anything, to do nothing in? Either way, it was unanimously agreed that there’s a lot missing from our lessons, from important topics like citizenship, first aid and mental health awareness to having a qualified specialist doing the teaching.

We turned the most important results into an infographic, which can be seen here; Infographic_v2 (4)

What do you think these results mean? Do you agree? What should be done about it? Let us know in the comments, or on Twitter, or Facebook!

Thank you to everyone who came to September’s meeting, and we’ll look forward to seeing you later this month!

first meeting

Remember to share!

Mae and CYC 🙂

Make Your Mark

Hey all!

If you’ve been to any of our events lately, or seen us around the streets of Cardiff, you may already recognise these lovely little ballot papers- you may even have filled one in for us. 15244400178_8be1f1b8a1_bWhich can only mean one thing- it’s time to Make Your Mark! Yearly, these ballots are released to the local youth forums around Britain by the UK Youth Parliament, meaning young people have a say in what is discussed by members of the Parliament in their annual House of Commons debate. It also decides what issues will be campaigned on across the UK. Basically, this is pretty big stuff, and takes nothing more than a tick, or a click, to complete! 

The scheme is the largest youth consultation of its kind in the UK. Last year, 875,000 11-18 year olds voted, the highest number of young people ever consulted as part of the scheme. But we think we can do even better, this time, and their target is to reach out to, and collect votes from 1,000,000 young people.

Cardiff Youth Council wants to make sure that we share this enthusiasm. Last year, the votes of 2,152 people were collected, a 6.9% turn out for young people in Cardiff. We can do better than that, right!? Especially when it’s so ridiculously easy to get involved.

For those of you who haven’t had a chance to fill out a ballot yet, here’s how it works– it’s super simple!  The paper consists of a choice of 10 topics, which the UK Youth Parliament identified as key issues prioritised by young people. You vote for the one that you think is the most important, the one that needs the most focus (only one, one only, such a tricky choice!) When these votes are collated and counted, the top ones will be discussed by the Youth Parliament in the House of Commons, on November 13th as part of Parliament week. 

Last year, in Cardiff, the top two topics voted for were Mental health, and Curriculum for life. This was the foundation of the two successful campaigns we have been running in CYC over the last year, which we’d be happy to answer any questions about, and will talk about in further detail in future posts.

If you’d like to vote right now, click here. Forward this link to any people, groups or organisations in your network of the right age, and encourage anybody you know to take part… let’s hit that target, let’s get Cardiff’s voice heard.

Thank you to everyone who’s taking part- hopefully we’ll see you on the 23rd, where our next meeting at city hall will be held, 4:30pm, be there!

Any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch, email me at maegandaviesjohn@outlook.com, or get in touch on Twitter or Facebook! You can find out much more about Make Your Mark and the UK Youth Parliament here.

Thanks again!

Mae, Fiona and CYC 🙂 

An intro to CYC


Hello!

I guess a good way to start off this blog, which we’ll hope to update for you weekly, is with a quick introduction to Cardiff Youth Council, who we are and what we’re all about! I’m not sure if you’ve heard the tagline before- if you haven’t, here it is- we are the official network for young people advocating positive change, to make Cardiff a better place to live, work, and play. In a sentence, that’s what we are… which doesn’t tell you much, so I’m gonna elaborate slightly.

Basically, it’s a youth forum, where young people from the age of 11, up to the age of 25 can meet with other like-minded young people to work on campaigns and issues in all forms. So basically, if you fit into that age bracket, live in and around Cardiff, and care about… a broad range of stuff, then this is the place to go, to get your voice heard and your opinions counted!

How do you fit in to all of this? We meet on a monthly basis- and if these meetings, or even a few of these meetings and involvement on social media are all you can commit to,  that’s fine! Any involvement is great, as we function on having a big group representing the youth of Cardiff, working hard and making change happen! And we do make change happen, which is great, because what we do as young people is important, and deserves to be acknowledged, we deserve to see a response to the things we do!  Additionally, we’ll be hurling opportunities your way, of various nature and theme, including exciting and interesting trips and visits, residential outings, and so on! Anybody can get involved- as well as representatives sent from schools and organisations across Cardiff, we’re also made up of lots of individuals from all backgrounds. We want our Youth Council to be as diverse, interesting and varied as our city is.

It’s super easy to get involved- you literally just turn up to one of our meetings! There’s absolutely no commitment to stay if you decide it isn’t for you, and any feedback you have would be appreciated regardless!

The next few dates for our meetings are September 23rd, October 14th, November 18th, and December 16th. Always on Wednesdays, always at the City Hall in Cardiff, always 4.30pm and ending before 7pm! Pop those dates in your calendars or phones, and see how you feel when they pop up! We’d love to see you there, (plus there’ll be free tea and biscuits, always a bonus, right?) We know how expensive public transport can be in Cardiff, in fact, it’s one of the issues brought up regularly in youth council, and we try to offer alternatives. If you present any bus or train tickets used to reach our meetings, we’ll reimburse them, as we wouldn’t like to put you out of pocket!

You can follow us on social media too, @CardiffYC on Twitter and like our Facebook page- We’d really appreciate the support!

Thanks so much for reading this far, and I hope we’ll see you really soon! If you have any questions at all, or if you just want to have a little chat about what we’re about, my name’s Maegan , I’m the chair of Cardiff Youth Council, you can email me on maegandaviesjohn@outlook.com at any time, you can also drop me a message on Facebook or whatever. If you’d like my number to discuss anything over the phone, I can email that over to you too. We’ll look forward to hearing from you!

Thanks again!

Mae and CYC 🙂