All Party Group on Youth Participation

All Party Group on Youth Participation

Project Description

The NI Youth Forum (NIYF) has produced several key pieces of youth-led research that gathered the views of thousands of young people and supported them to have a say on the issues that affect their lives. The Youth Manifesto for Change, launched in April 2022, collated this research into a single document and was created by young people to promote the changes they wish to see in society.

In the Youth Manifesto for Change, there are four ‘Big Asks’; one is to establish an All-Party Group for Young People in which people in power and young people can come together to create change. An All-Party Working Group is a group where people in power come together to talk about issues that matter to everyone (including young people). Other people, such as youth workers, can speak to and present information to them when they meet.

As the Northern Ireland Assembly was not sitting when this group was established, we met as a ‘Cross-Party Group’ from April 2023 to February 2024, when we became an ‘All-Party Group’.

We host regular meetings with members on an all-party basis, with presentations from stakeholder groups and individuals, government departments and bodies, and hearing directly from young people.

The NIYF Executive Committee (2021-2023) selected Mental Health as the first theme to explore as a Cross-Party Group. For the duration of this theme, it was clear that immediate and effective action must be taken to improve the emotional health and well-being of young people, such as reducing waiting lists, supporting the community and voluntary sector by delivering a wide range of impactful programs and also direct engagement with young people is needed to improve services for them.

Following this, the next topic which is currently under investigation is Housing and Homelessness.

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