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Sunderland Youth Council

Over the past 4 years, our Past President, Pat Howe, has worked with the Sunderland Youth Council.  Her relationship and involvement with these young people has been exceptional and Pat has encouraged the Club to endorse a nomination putting them forward for SUNDERLAND YOUNG ACHIEVERS’ AWARDS 2017.

Below is the statement that Pat sent for consideration.  It makes very interesting reading and also highlights a lot of of the Club’s Programme Action work.

Young Achievers’ Award 2017 – Service to the Community Group

Soroptimist International of Sunderland wish to nominate Sunderland Youth Parliament (SYP) for the Young Achievers’ Award 2017.  They make an amazing and outstanding contribution in giving a voice to be heard from young people in the community and in so doing making a difference. Young people will become INFORMED: EMPOWERED to be sensible decision makers as our future residents of Sunderland and the world.

We first engaged with the Sunderland Youth Parliament in 2015 when we debated the topics Politics in School, Domestic Violence, Sex and Relationship Education in Schools and trafficking.

Their action; ACTION was to take relationship bookmarks, posters and leaflets into schools on healthy relationships and TRAFFICKING. They agreed to Anti Trafficking stickers in taxis. Arising from this, taxis drivers were trained in how to deal with suspicious situations in taxis. All to safeguard the Young People in Sunderland.

This year SYP raised awareness on Mental Health problems in young people and also the stigma around it. What a challenge to take on.  The action plan in place has been detailed, intensive and thorough. It has involved conferring with professionals, and working on developing a Wellbeing Charter Mark for schools so children, parents and professionals can get support and help in the early stages. SYP members has received training from Washington Mind to promote positive mental health and act as peer group mentors in their schools and colleges. The training would help the young people with skills and knowledge to help those with suicidal thoughts.

Sunderland Young Inspectors is a programme that trains young people aged 13 -19 (+25) to inspect the services they use. Now a health model has been added to their programme and some SYP members are fully trained as mental health inspectors and can inspect mental health providers.

SYP help volunteer to help at community events. They have attended UKYP meetings and two British Youth Council conventions. They have had representation on Head Teachers’ Conference and met with MP’s to discuss young people’s issues.


Pat Howe for Sunderland Soroptimists