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Youth Advisory Panel

a drawing of 3 people stood next to eachother

Elected Member of the UK Youth Parliament for Carlisle and Eden, 2020

Ben Perris UK Youth Parliament Representative Carlisle & Eden 2020

Ben Perris from Penrith, the newly elected Member of the UK Youth Parliament for Carlisle & Eden, is passionate about people having the things they want in their area. In his Manifesto, Ben pledged to improve local transport, tackle climate change, decrease rural isolation and improve mental health services. These are topics also highlighted by the Town Council’s Youth Advisory Panel. Fortuitously, Ben has now agreed to join our Youth Advisory Panel so we can all work together to tackle these priorities.

Join the Town Council’s Youth Advisory Panel

The Penrith Town Council Youth Advisory Panel puts young people’s voices at the heart of what we do. See information below outlining what’s been done so far. Please contact Anna Malina, Community Engagement Officer on: to find out how you can join in.

Consent Form

If you are under 17 years old and want to join, please complete the Consent Form and return via email to Anna at:


SURVEY (now closed) on what’s available for young people in PENRITH!

When the analysis of the YAP Survey has been analysed, results will be posted on this page.


Worried about COVID-19?

‘Participation People’s #YouthVoice Pioneers’ are a group of young people from across the UK with different experiences of health care, social care, police & youth justice, children’s services, voluntary sector, education, asylum seeking services.


Episode 1

In this podcast, the #YouthVoice Pioneers discuss their concerns over the current COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges they face with education, relationships, self-isolation and the economy.

*This podcast was recorded Saturday 21 March. Health information is changing rapidly. Please check this website for latest guidance from government 👉

Episode 2

In this episode recorded on 4th April, the #Youth Voice Pioneers discuss mental health, emotional wellbeing and keeping yourslf well during this time of crisis.

If you’re 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 may be delayed somewhat due to the Coronavirus, the intention is that feedback from the survey will be considered by the Youth Panel and then discussed with 3 supporting Town Councillors from the Community, Culture and Economic Growth (CCEG) Committee. Where it seems helpful, recommendations may be discussed further with interested organisations before being taken forward for consideration by CCEG and, if appropriate, the full Town Council. Depending on how long we all stay indoors, these processes may have to be carried out online.

Kahoot Evening: Friday 14th February 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.

Engaging with young people aged between 14-25 means that those 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.

Main Aims

The Town Council’s main aim is to:

“to engage with young people living in Penrith, aged between 14-25, 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 Council will listen and act whenever possible and 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.’)

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:


Additional Information: