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Youth Advisory Panel

a drawing of 3 people stood next to eachother


Youth Climate Summit, 9-13th November, 2020

The Youth Climate Change Summit took place between 9th-13th November – Schools from around the UK came together during what would have been the week of COP26 to take action and help create a more just, sustainable world and make commitments and pledges for the planet.

The following Golden Threads ran throughout all events at the summit:

  • Climate, Social & Racial Justice Education
  • Skills & Careers
  • Health & Wellbeing

Robert Ferguson School in Carlisle ran the third day

21st September 2020 – Tree Planting in Penrith

Members of the panel are interested in addressing climate change and preserving our natural environment. With this in mind, the Panel  are exploring opportunities to plant trees somewhere in Penrith.

14th September, 2020 – Youth Climate Ambassador

Transform our World are looking for Youth Ambassadors! We’re looking for students from secondary schools and sixth forms from different regions of the UK to promote the youth climate action event of the decade taking place 9-13th November 2020!

If you know young people who:

  • show a genuine interest in both people and planet
  • are willing to speak in public
  • have a passion for writing
  • have experience in different forms of social media
  • are interested in networking with other young people and adults, including figures of authority like Headteachers and MPs then please share this opportunity with them.

More information.

Submissions deadline is 9th September. Please spread the word!”

Survey – Views of Young People returning to School

The 2020 Member of the Youth Parliament for Carlisle and Eden, Ben Perris, who attends Ullswater Community College and James Lennon, Deputy Member of the Youth Parliament, who attends Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Penrith together created a short survey prior to students return to Secondary Schools in September. Support was provided by the Targeted Youth Support Officer at Cumbria County Council.

There was a recognition that the COVID-19 pandemic had created concerns for young people, and the purpose of the survey was to gain greater insight and understanding of how students were feeling, and identify what their expectations and concerns were for returning to school. The focus was on areas rather than specific schools.

The deadline for responses was 11th of August 2020 so that findings could be shared with school leaders and adult decision makers. Findings will be posted on Ben Perris’s Blog 1.

You can find additional information about other issues important to young people on Ben’s Blog 2

Youth Advisory Panel Survey

Analysis of the survey carried out to explore young people’s views on Penrith  (described below) has illustrated what young people feel about Penrith and what they would like to see happen.

Outcomes of the Youth Advisory Panel Survey

The Panel worked in partnership with Penrith Leisure Centre and Cumbria County Council, and included questions in the survey to provide information for them. Findings have been shared with them to help them assess the way forward for the Leisure Centre.

Discussion has been delayed because of COVID-19, however, information will be shared with the Arts & Culture Group to inform them on youth views on Penrith prior to COVID.

Worried about COVID-19?

Your Voice Advocacy Carlisle Eden Mind

One-to-one advocacy for young people who are experiencing issues that are impacting on their mental wellbeing. Currently delivered remotely via video, telephone or messaging. 0300 0120103 (24-hour voice mail service)

Mental Health

If you are a young person struggling with your mental health and need someone to talk to then please reach out to the following helplines and websites that can offer help. Remember, it’s okay to not be okay

Kooth – 0203 984 9337
Childline – 0800 1111
Samaritans – 116 123
UK Youth – Coronavirus Advice

Youth Survey: Give us your views on Penrith

The Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) launched a Survey at their Kahoots event on 14th February, 2020. The survey, which includes questions to inform Penrith Leisure Centre and Cumbria County Council, was open for six weeks, and closed on 27th March, 2020. The intention was to gather young people’s views on Penrith and what’s available for them in the town.

The survey HERE is now closed

While the process has been delayed due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, the intention is that feedback from the survey will be considered by the Youth Panel and discussed with 3 supporting Town Councillors from the Community, Culture and Economic Growth (CCEG) Committee. These processes may have to be carried out online.

Kahoot Evening: Friday 14th February, 2020 from 4.00pm

On Friday 14th February, the Town Council’s Youth Advisory Panel along with other young people aged between 14-25, who live in or near the town, took part in a ‘Kahoot’ evening. The Youth Panel hosted the event, and different panel members linked via a lap-top to quizzes they had set up using the competitive game-based online platform. Some of the questions contained in the quizzes related to fun topics while others related to serious issues facing young people in the town. They included:

  • Valentines Day
  • About Penrith
  • Climate Change
  • Music
  • Mental Health
  • Drug and Alcohol

Using their smart phones, the young people who came along competed with one another in the quizzes, earning points on a leader board. After the quizzes were finalised, two of the Town Councillors who are supporting the panel, Cllr. Hilary Snell and Cllr. Jonathan Davis invited young people to discuss the serious issues included in the quizzes and consider how to take them forward.

Young people suggested the results of the survey would provide information potentially useful in supporting positive action. One idea was to work with the Eco groups in both QEGS and UCC, so bringing the schools together to work towards common goals. They indicated that the Panel will meet after the survey closes on 27th March to consider findings/analysis and then proceed further with Town Councillors and other organisations in the town who might be interested in collaborating.

In addition,young people thought issues related to Climate Change and Mental Health coud be discussed further by the Youth Panel who could then set up small sub-groups of interested young people to work together with Town Councillors and appropriate partners. Progress in this regard will be discussed at future meetingd of the Youth Panel. Other issues for discussion will include possibilities related to communication online and how to encourage older generations of young people to get involved. Young people attending the Kahoot event but not yet involved with the Youth Advisory Panel were invited to join and attend their meetings in future.

Youth Advisory Panel Open Event, Saturday 30th November, 2019

Penrith Youth Advisory Panel on Vimeo.

Feedback from 30th November Meeting

The first youth panel meeting took place on 30th November 2019, at Unit 2, 19-24 Friargate, Penrith CA11 7XR (adjacent to Town Council Office). Some very committed and enthusiastic young people exchanged views.

Kindly facilitated by Karen Lockney, the group discussed issues facing young people in Penrith, also group communication, Panel Membership, future meetings and Cahoot events for early 2020.

The positive actions this amall core group outlined will help the Panel grow in strength; and the Town Council will continue to support development.

If you would like to find out more, please contact Anna Malina, Community Engagement Officer. If you are aged 14-25 years of age and would like to participate in the Youth Panel, please get in touch with Anna via email: or by phone 01768 425997.

Town Council Support

Community Engagement Officer, Anna Malina is working directly with the panel to develop direction. And 3 town councillors will discuss any outcomes of actions and provide support when needed. The Councillors are Cllr Hilary Snell, Cllr Scott Jackson and Cllr Jonathan Davies., who sit on the’ Community Culture and Economic Development Group’ (CCEG). The supporting Councillors will act as liaison between young people and the Town Council.

Young people over 18 are already young adults themselves. However, they still face significant challenges, barriers and issues. Our engagement process will be cognisant of the different age groups and the differing needs of diverse young people in Penrith.

Our 4 Key Principles

  1. We are genuine in our aim to engage with young people in Penrith.
  2. We want young people to feel valued, able to express concerns and ideas and influence the Town Council’s decision-making processes.
  3. Elected Town Councillors will facilitate and support the Panel, while making sure young people are ‘in control.’
  4. We will listen to what young people say and address issues and concerns raised whenever it’s possible to do so


The Town Council will liase with any youth groups and community organisations in Penrith that provide youth services and may want to deal with issues identified by the Youth Advisory Panel.

Whenever possible, we will also liaise with Cumbria’s Youth Parliament representatives and Youth Councils covering Penrith, including:

  • Eden Youth Council (EYC) (a forum for young people to discuss Eden wide issues),
  • Ullswater Community College Student Council
  • Queen Elizabeth Grammar School (QEGS)

Penrith Town Council Youth Advisory Panel

The Town Council is engaging with young people aged between 14-25 living in or close to Penrith, to facilitate, support and empower them to have a voice and influence the things that matter to them.

Recognising that young people are the future of the town but may face significant challenges and barriers, Penrith Town Council has set up a ‘Youth Advisory Panel’ to represent the views of young people in the Town.

The Youth Panel will enable young people in different age groups to advise the Town Council on issues that affect or concern them. Councillors will then be able to reach a better understanding of the needs, hopes and aspirations of younger generations. The hope is to bring about greater benefits to the Council’s decision-making.

“When young people are trusted with responsibility and accountability, they are more likely to have an investment in their town’s future. Listening to young people and representing their interests not only strengthens local democracy but also delivers some of the outcomes Councillors might want to achieve.” (The Local Government Association Councillor Handbook ‘Engaging Young People.’)

Additional Information: