Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has today proudly presented her new Youth Ambassadors who will provide a powerful voice on policing and community safety issues on behalf of young people across the region.
Jane Kennedy launched a search for a group of enthusiastic, skilled young people to join her team as Youth Ambassadors in July. After reviewing nearly 40 applications and following two selection days, the Commissioner has today unveiled the 10 successful applications who will become her Youth Ambassadors for the next 12 months.
The successful applicants are aged between 16 and 22, represent each local authority of Merseyside and are currently studying or employed in a range of roles, including working as a Vulnerable Person’s Advocate for Merseyside Fire Service and a Young Advisor for St Helens Council.
They also have a wide range of volunteering experience, including supporting children and young people at local youth centres, working with the Young Person’s Advisory Service (YPAS) and the National Citizenship Scheme, as well as giving their time to local hospices and community farms.
The new Youth Ambassadors will volunteer their time to support, challenge and inform the work of the Police Commissioner, her office and the wider criminal justice system. The group will meet bi-monthly with Jane and her team and will assist in the creation and delivery of a new Youth Engagement Plan, which they will help to share with other young people by visiting schools, youth clubs and community groups across Merseyside.
They will also be expected to attend youth engagement events, inform campaigns aimed at young people, act as influencers on key issues and review the criminal justice services offered to their peers to see how they can be improved.
Jane Kennedy said: “I’m delighted to unveil my new Youth Ambassadors, who will act as my advisors on youth issues in Merseyside.
“I was bowled over by the quality of the applications we received and the 10 successful applications have all proved themselves be passionate, motivated and determined young individuals who will provide a powerful voice for young people on Merseyside. We are privileged to have such an inspiring group of young people working with our office, influencing decision-making on policing and community safety issues at a senior level and ensuring we consider the views of young people as we work to address the key issues which affect them.
“The previous Youth Advisory Group did a great job, sharing their views and feedback with me openly and honestly and providing an effective forum for sharing opinions, but I took the decision to recruit a smaller group of Ambassadors so that the young people involved could take on a more hands on, active role.
“I have no doubt these young people will be real ambassadors for their peers and be a voice for change.”
In exchange for their time on the scheme, the Youth Ambassadors will receive a range of training and development opportunities.
The new Youth Ambassador for Sefton is 21-year-old Emily Jones. She said: “I have always had great interest in regards to the police and what they do, specifically for Merseyside. When I saw the voluntary role advertised, I knew that it was something I needed to put myself forward for. As a young adult myself, I feel like I have a greater perspective on topics related to current crime in this area and I also believe that using my voice along with other ambassadors could be beneficial in changing other individuals outlooks on crime across the region.”
The new Youth Ambassadors have replaced the Commissioner’s Youth Advisory Group which ran since 2013. The role will last for 12 months and was open to those aged between 16 and 24, who live, work or study in Merseyside.