Top award for youth project

Published: 18 December 2012

The Youth Momentum Conference, which saw 180 young people share their views directly with local decision-makers, has been given a prestigious award.

The conference, organised by the Wandsworth Youth Council, has been given a British Youth Council (BYC) Inspiring Project Award.

The British Youth Council Youth on Board awards celebrate ideas that have made a real difference to how organisations work with young people.

The day-long Youth Momentum conference at the BAC in July saw youngsters discuss issues ranging from youth unemployment, the Olympic legacy and last year's riots to recycling and how the council is implementing the Children and Young People's Plan.

They explored the topics in creative workshops before quizzing the borough's councillors and council officers in a speed questioning event. Their ideas will feed into and inform the Wandsworth Youth Participation Strategy and Children and Young People's Plan.

View a video of the conference.

Youth Momentum has also made some clear contributions at a national level, including successfully proposing the Youth Unemployment motion for the BYC manifesto.

This is the second BYC award this year for a Wandsworth Youth Council project. Its Youth Think Tank, set up to help improve relations between the police and the borough's young people won an Innovation Award in July.

Think Tank members and the police come together around a table to discuss issues such as stop and search, and think about solutions to problems. The meetings are attended by the police Borough Commander and the head of the council's Community Safety Team.

The Youth Council was set up by the council's Youth Services department and has in recent years established itself as a key forum for consulting and involving young people in decisions about council services.

It meets regularly and develops campaigns, feeds into council decision-making processes, organises events, manages the  Youth Opportunity Fund grant scheme and runs projects such as the Wandsworth Young Inspectors, who inspect council services and give feedback from a young person's point of view.

Wandsworth is developing its work with young people as part of a council-wide drive to increase aspiration and opportunity for borough residents.

The work to create an even stronger Wandsworth also includes regeneration projects, schemes to improve employment and skills, increasing school choice and standards, helping people own their own home and help for troubled families.

The council's children's services spokesman Cllr Kathy Tracey said:

"Congratulations to the Youth Forum for yet another award. We are very proud of these young people, and grateful to them for sharing their fresh new ideas and helping us see issues from a different perspective.

"We want to help all our young people achieve their potential, and we want them to know that we do listen to them and learn from them."

Find out more about the awards at Find out about youth work in Wandsworth at