Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting NORTHERN ECHO to 80360 or email us
Youth council for Spennymoor and surrounding villages
YOUNG people in the Spennymoor area have found their voice by forming a council.
Spennymoor Youth Council will have up to 22 members and is open to 11 to 19-year-olds who live or attend school in the areas covered by Spennymoor Area Action Partnership.
If more youngsters want to get involved they can join extra committees.
Its work will follow Durham County Council’s vision of a place that is safer, greener, healthier, wealthier and better for children and young people.
Spennymoor AAP has donated £11,000 to the youth council and Spennymoor Town Council will give £6,000 over three years.
Most of the money will be allocated by youth councillors as grants of £50 to £500 towards new youth activities meeting an ‘altogether’ theme.
On Saturday (Saturday, January 26) members will attend a training event at Spennymoor Town Hall, which is where they will meet.
Town mayor, Coun George Tolley, will talk to youngsters and they will assign roles and elect a youth mayor for civic duties.
Thomas Dawson, 16, said: “I joined because I thought I should help improve our area, I think I should have my say, to make it a nicer place, so people have a better impression of the place.”
Kieran Cunningham, 14, said: “It’ll be good to help kids in our community, to give them more activities and improve areas where they daren’t go out so they feel safer.”
Rachel Bartle, 14, added: “It shouldn’t always be adults who get to decide what happens, if a decision is about kids we should have a say.
“We’re the ones growing up here so should have a say on what happens.”
Success North-East, a community interest company that runs youth and community projects, is leading the initiative.
Chief executive Wendy Minhinnett said five to 11-year-olds have input to projects in the area at an annual forum so the youth council will give the next age group a chance to influence local decisions and promote a positive view of young people to peers and adults.
She said: “They will be positive young role models in the community, attend appropriate events, allocate a budget to young people’s activities and work with other organisations such as the NHS to share their views.
“They will be positive young role models in the town and a way for young people to have a voice and influence on local issues.”
To get involved contact Wendy Minhinnett on 07415-380040.