By Kelly McAllister – reporting for VIEWdigital
BELFAST’S young people are being encouraged to ‘talk back’ and address the pressing issues that affect their lives in a panel discussion at Féile an Phobail.
The annual ‘Youth Talks Back’ event at Colin Youth Development Centre in Poleglass, west Belfast gives young people the opportunity to engage with a panel of five influential figures.
Members of the youth committee of the Active Communities Network – a charity which encourages young people to use sport to get into education, training and employment – has taken over organising this year’s event. From April these young people have taken part in a city-wide project to find out the most pressing issues affecting young people in Belfast.
Lisa McCrory, project co-ordinator at Active Communities Network, said: “I think ‘Youth Talks Back’ is a massive platform for young people to explore issues and problems that are relevant to themselves and other young people around the city. It is an excellent opportunity for these young people to get advice and accountability from people on the panel.”
Over a five-month period the youth committee, in partnership with Féile, engaged with partner organisations to identify and recruit young people for consultation workshops.
They found that drugs and alcohol, cuts in youth services and mental health were among the most pressing issues which young people wanted to highlight. A discussion between these young people and the ‘Youth Talks Back’ panel will address these issues, as well as education, abortion and marriage equality.
The event follows a consultation consisting of a four question survey filled in by young people throughout the city. These questions were aimed at teasing out matters that are not always highlighted.
‘Youth Talks Back’ takes place on Wednesday August 8, more details here: http://feilebelfast.com/calendar-list/youth-talks-back-2