About ACAP’s Youth Forum
We started the forum because we wanted to harness the potential of young people age 13-25 and get them involved in active citizenship because a lot of the young people from African Caribbean ackgrounds face multiple levels of social exclusion and poverty that make it difficult for them to play an equal part. This presents barriers to their involvement in civic life.
This is supported by the Government (May 2018) Indices of Deprivation report that showed Black people were near three times more likely (21.4%) to live in the most deprived 10% of neighbourhoods as compared to white people (8.7%) who live in the most deprived 10% of neighbourhoods). As a consequence, these young people are not represented in any youth forum or network in Bradford. Their invisibility and lack of representation leads to their voices going unheard which results in further exclusion.
The Forum is run by young people, for young people (with a little bit of support from ACAP management team). We do not wait for young people to get engaged with our services, our strategy is to engage them by taking our ‘mobile’ forum to them, wherever they are. The project is being funded by the Pears Foundation and we are grateful for their support. This forum would not be in existence were it not for their generosity and belief in what we are trying to achieve.
So far, some of the issues young people want to have a say about are below. We intend to develop ‘action groups’ who will each be responsible for one area. Current issues young people are working on are :
Learning and Education
Young People and Politics
Inequality and Human Rights
Mentoring & Leadership
Employment and Training
So what do we do in the Forum and how does it all work?
We are on a mission to increase the number of black young people involved in active
citizenship so that they have a voice. Our method of engagement is in the form of outreach mobile Pop Up Shops in order to captivate and engage young people to ensure inclusion of voices and
equality for all.
The Forum organises other activities in the form of workshops, surgeries and masterclasses offering a mixture of training in communication skills, presentation skills and reflective workshops focusing on teamwork, problem-solving and leadership. The Forum also features drama, music and/or spoken-word poetry performances for children who find it easier to express themselves using those mediums. As the forum has developed young people have begun to discuss the issues that affect them the most in a variety of ways.
Young people have gone on to recruit their peers to take part in talks and discussions and are planning to take their issues, concerns and solutions directly to the people who can make changes for them – like councillors, politicians, health organisations, voluntary sector organisations, the police, local authorities and other key decision makers.
If you would like to know when our next pop up forum will be held and would like to get involved in the Youth Forum, volunteer with us or take advantage of our training workshops, contact Janice or another member of the Youth Forum team on 01274 720254. You can also send an email to us at email@example.com
Our Forum is being funded by the Pears Foundation and we would like to express our gratitude to them for giving us the opportunity to finally have our voices heard.ACAP Youth Forum
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Established in 1995, ACAP exists to advance the educational welfare and outcomes for disadvantaged people in West Yorkshire.