A member of the Kites team is working on a ‘Speak Up’ scheme which is designed to engage the boys more with their care and the world around them, i.e. local and national politics, environment, and history.
So far two of our boys have joined the Southend Youth Council and a further two will be joining next month, the constitution provides a platform for young people in the local area to have a say over how their borough is run. Monthly meetings are held to discuss the issues that affect us in Southend. Meetings follow a formalised agenda, which could include items such as a debate on current affairs and updates on any current campaigns.
In the most recent meeting, Southend’s current youth MP had spoken in the House of Parliament, and she told all the young people how this went, our boys seemed very impressed.
All the boys are keen to get stuck in and maybe help make changes locally, they are also looking forward to attending the seminars the council runs, which discuss lots of things including activism and conflict resolution.
In the next couple of months, the boys have got some exciting trips planned with a tour of the houses of parliament and the supreme court. They’ve also discussed a trip to the British Museum and a visit to Speaker’s corner.
The boys will also be having individual meetings to collect their thoughts around their care. This will be recorded, and any issues raised can be looked at and noted for the boy’s professional meetings. The hope is that the boys will begin to advocate for themselves, or at least contribute something at their CLA/PEP/YP meetings.
Hopefully by engaging in history, activism, and politics the boys will feel more connected with their world and learn something. The aim of the project is to give the boys the tools to self-advocate without arguing, to practice listening and having conversations.
Hopefully this will also increase their confidence and self-esteem, one of the boys have already spoken at the council meeting, at first, he was too nervous but by the end he gave it a go completely unprompted!