L-R: Cllr Peacey Wilcox, Tom Jackson (Chair), Mr Murdoch, Alicia Allen, Hannah Chilton, Isaac Lethbridge, Bailey Woodford and Cllr Cameron


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The Isle of Wight Youth Council has presented the first of its Youth Voice Awards – also known as ‘YoVAs’ – to Cowes Enterprise College and Ryde Academy, who both achieved the silver level of the award.

The event was attended by Chairman of the Isle of Wight Council, Lora Peacey Wilcox, as well as the Vice Chair, Cllr Cameron.

The award, developed by the Youth Council, aims to recognise outstanding engagement by schools with young people. The award has 3 tiers – bronze silver and gold. Criteria range from having a ‘you said, we did’ board for a Bronze to having a student on the board of governors for Gold.

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Tom Jackson Chair of the Youth Council said:

“This is the result of two years of amazing work by the Youth Council and myself. I cannot put into words how amazed I am at the result. I’d like to give a special thanks to Hannah who did some amazing work designing the certificates, they look amazing!”

At the Youth Council’s November meeting the plans for the award were shared with the Leader of the Council, Cllr Dave Stewart and Cabinet member for Children’s Services and Education, Cllr Paul Brading, who both showed their support for the Youth Council’s work.

One of the schools receiving an award was Cowes Enterprise College. Mr Murdoch visited County Hall to accept the award on behalf of the Student Council and said:

“YoVA has given us a focus, its given us a clear set of criteria, which we are working towards, and it also gives the students something measurable, so we can clearly see what we’re doing and how we could better improve our facilities.”

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The Youth Council, elected every 2 years, come together each month to talk about Youth Issues and make steps to improve opportunities for the Young People of the Island working with teams from across County Hall and outside organisations such as the Hampshire and IOW Police Youth Commission and the IOW Youth Trust.

Lora Peacey Wilcox Chairman of the Isle of Wight Council was very impressed with the concept of the awards. The work that had gone into the actual specification; the very arty certificates and of course the schools taking part. She said:

“I hope the schools will continue to participate and achieve a gold award for next year. Sincere congratulations to each and every person that helped the project come to fruition. I am very proud of the Youth Council.”

Applications remain open and schools can download the application form from www.iwight.com/youthcouncil to then submit their work to [email protected] to be considered. If you want to find out more about the “Youth Voice Award” more information can be found on the groups social media feeds, including an explainer video produced by Tom Jackson, Chair of the group.

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