Released: 11 February, 2021
The West Sussex Youth Cabinet have been rewarded for their tireless campaigning during lockdown with a nomination for a national award.
The High Sheriff of West Sussex Dr Tim Fooks has put their ‘Tackling knife crime in West Sussex and beyond’ campaign forward for a National Crimebeat Award. Youth Cabinet members designed and created a series of posters to deter young people from knife crime, with the support of Sussex Police and West Sussex County Councillors. They have been sent to schools to display and encourage discussion as well as posted on social media.
Dr Fooks said: “I have been greatly impressed by the WSCC Youth Cabinet's poster campaign on knife crime - an issue which has been recognised nationally as one of the most important concerns for young people. The posters are well-designed and thought-provoking so I am delighted to submit them for a National Crimebeat Award. I very much hope they will be successful."
Youth Cabinet Chairperson Daisy Watson-Rumbold said: "The knife crime campaign is very close to the Youth Cabinet's heart. A lot of effort went into formulating the posters, and the positive effects they've had on our communities has made it all worthwhile. They serve as a reminder that there are always support provisions available for young people, countywide, and that the youth cabinet is actively representing the youth of West Sussex in every issue. We are immensely proud of both the campaign and the incredible nomination."
The campaign promotes Fearless.org - the youth service of the charity Crimestoppers where young people can report crime completely anonymously.
Tackling Knife Crime is one of no fewer than eight campaigns the West Sussex Youth Cabinet has continued to champion throughout the pandemic.
Among the notable recent achievements the Youth Cabinet:
- Hosted a debate on racial inequality with County Councillors and MPs (pictured above) and put on three webinars on the topic
- Helped West Sussex to first place in the UK for the number of votes cast in the 2020 Make Your Mark, an annual national ballot open to all 11-18 year olds to vote on the biggest issues facing young people
- Started a weekly podcast discussing the topics that affect young people, complementing their regular online blog.
- Promoted wellbeing help and resources for their better health awareness campaign
- Worked closely with the council to promote the West Sussex Climate Conversation survey for their environment campaign
- Are working with the council’s education team to engage young people in a review of the way the curriculum is taught
- Are hosting three webinars for their Youth Cabinet Political Engagement Campaign to help young people to learn and understand more about politics. The first is on 16 February with MP Tim Loughton
Jacquie Russell, Cabinet Member for Children & Young People said: “I have a regular catch up with our Youth Cabinet chair each month where we share information and continue to look for opportunities through which the youth cabinet can raise their profile and promote their campaigns. They are a highly articulate, innovative, energised group of young people who have achieved an incredible amount throughout 2020 with many more plans for 2021.
"Most importantly they play a vital role in helping us to hear the views of young people in West Sussex and it is important that we nurture this aspect as I have no doubt some will step into our shoes in local government in the future.”
The 35 West Sussex Youth Cabinet members are between 14-17 and represent every area of West Sussex, meeting once a month virtually. There are currently vacancies and anyone interested in becoming a youth cabinet member should email Caz.Evans@westsussex.gov.uk