torfaen youth forum
Credit: Torfaen Council

Pupils from every secondary school in Torfaen have come together to form a youth forum for the county.

They will talk to the council about issues that affect them. 

Seventeen young people from the county’s six secondary schools attended the first new-look Torfaen Youth Forum meeting at Torfaen Council’s Chamber last week.

They discussed what the group’s constitution should include, nominated candidates to be leader and deputy leader and worked together to design a new logo.

They also got the chance to meet chief executive Stephen Vickers, who invited them to become part of the council’s decision-making process.

Stephen said: “Like all local authorities, we’re facing some difficult challenges. I want to increase the diversity of people who get to have a say in the decisions we make, and young people are a critical voice.”

The forum members also met Cllr Richard Clark, executive member for children, families and education, presiding officer Cllr Rose Seabourne, as well as Jason O’Brien, strategic director for children and families and Andrew Powles, director of education.

Cllr Clark said: “It was a pleasure meeting the new youth forum members who were all fantastic ambassadors for their schools. I look forward to working with them to ensure as many young people as possible have their voices heard.”

Elizabeth Jacobs, head girl at Croesyceiliog School, said: “I wanted to come today to have my voice heard and to be the voice of other pupils at my school. I really enjoyed getting to know the students from the other schools.”

Croesyceiliog School head boy Junior Munyoro added: “My favourite bit was the ice breaker when we had to make a chair out of balloons. I also enjoyed getting to know the other people.”  

It was the first time the youth forum has been comprised of school council representatives from each secondary school – Abersychan School, Croesyceiliog School, and Cwmbran High School, St Alban’s Roman Catholic High School, Ysgol Gymraeg Gwynllyw and West Monmouth School.

The meeting was organised by Philip Wilson, the council’s children and young people’s engagement and participation officer.

The forum will meet once a month and will form part of a new Torfaen Youth Alliance due to be launched this year, which will bring representatives from all young people’s organisations across the borough.