Newham Council has published a pioneering Young People’s Charter.
The Council’s Cabinet committed to the Charter at its meeting yesterday (Tuesday, 8 March). At the same meeting, the Cabinet also approved a draft summary Children and Young People’s Plan with the full plan set to be launched later this year following further engagement and consultation with young people and key partners.
The Charter has been co-created by young people since last September, when it was first discussed at a meeting of Next Gen Newham, an initiative which allows children and young people to shape the future of the borough.
Both the Plan and the Charter are core to the borough’s commitment to be the best place for Newham’s children and young people.
Newham Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz said: “Nothing is more important than our young people and that’s why we have invested more than £36 million in services for young people since 2018, increasing the budget by 33 percent. The number of youth workers has also increased from three to 43.
“My priority has always been to make Newham the best place for children and young people to grow up, to play and be happy, healthy, thrive and able to reach their full potential.
“Our Young People’s Charter has been created with young people at its heart and we will continue to engage with them fully to develop our ambitious Children and Young People’s Plan. We are committed to increasing opportunities for all young people and ensuring there is a relentless focus on putting them first.”
Councillor Carleene Lee-Phakoe, Cabinet Member for Brighter Futures, said: “We are very happy to get behind the Young People’s Charter and the Children and Young People’s Plan. Children and young people are 37 percent of our population and 100 percent of our future. Young people co-created the agreement, or ‘set of principles’, to frame the way they are supported in Newham to be happy, healthy and safe and can thrive to reach their full potential.
“The aim of the Charter is to improve young people’s lives. Everyone in the borough can sign up to it, including the Council, families and guardians, businesses, nurseries, schools, colleges, the police, NHS, the voluntary community and faith sector and government agencies.”
Cllr. Lee-Phakoe added: “Over the past couple of years, we have also reversed the decline in investment in youth services and made significant progress to improving services to ensure all children and young people are kept safe.”
Councillor Sarah Ruiz, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, said: “The resilience of our amazing children and young people has shone in recent times in very challenging circumstances and we know that with the right support the next generation will succeed.
“We are proud of what has been achieved over the past few years in Newham – we have first-class schools and colleges with many of our young people progressing to university.
“The Children and Young People’s Plan will build on this work and I look forward to developing its action plan further with the direct involvement of our young people and partners.”
The 11 equally important principles of the Young People’s Charter come under the headings of: Change, Creativity, Relationships, Community, Health, Diversity, Keeping Us Safe, Independence, Quality, Environment, and Privacy.
The Charter plans to encourage people and organisations to be accountable and fulfil their commitment to the borough’s young people and to champion and advocate for children and young people in Newham.
It also aims to reinforce the message that this is “Everybody’s business”, demonstrate the Council’s commitment to listening to and amplifying the voices of Newham’s young people and supporting and engaging them in a way with which they resonate.
The Children and Young People’s Plan will focus on five key outcomes for Newham’s children and young people to:
- Be cared for, safe and protected from harm,
- Be happy and enjoy improved health and wellbeing,
- Be proud of and protect the environment they grow up in,
- Access, participate and receive a great education, and
- Thrive and achieve their full potential.