Story:Afrah Alkheili | Photos: Rohan Francis
At the BCAF quarterly meeting on Saturday 3rd of May, the Youth Council and young people in Burngreave came to express their distress about not being given the voice and power to contribute to changes taking place in Burngreave.
The protest came after a Sheffield Futures restructure resulted in the Streetworx manager post being replaced with a Burngreave area manager, leaving Streetworx’s Zain Abdullah without a job. “Why has only one person lost their job?”, said youth councillor Kadie Ann. His post has now been taken over by another manager who will be running five projects at once, including Streetworx.
“This change means that the youth service for Burngreave will be in one team,” explained Vernon Colleymore, manager at Sheffield Futures. “There is nothing more important than the Youth Council.”
Young people feel that they are not consulted on important issues, or given the opportunity to take part in decision making. “Voice is that which is heard not ignored,” said youth councillor Farhan Ahmed. Their other concern is the sudden change to the way the service will be delivered, and the fact that young people were not consulted on this. “We were not consulted. We have been ignored,” said Zahra from the Youth Council.
The next stage is for Sheffield Futures to settle an agreement with the Youth Council, where there is a clear understanding of the role the Youth Council should play when any decisions are taken on behalf of young people.
The Youth Council have met with Richard Caborn, New Deal and Sheffield Futures. The following commitments have been made:
More time and resources from Sheffield Futures to support the Youth Council.
Allow the young people to review the changes.
Empower young people in decisions that affect them.