Care and justice experienced young people involved in Staf and CYCJ’s Youth Justice Voices projects, have been asked to participate in various pieces of work which will help to influence and inform policy and practice affecting care and justice experienced young people.

Youth Just Us: Maintaining connections through Covid-19

Currently due to Covid-19, we are exploring how we can keep young people connected and involved. On Monday the 23rd of March we hosted our first Youth Just Us session online. Young people involved in the session shared how they were keen to keep connected, to talk about well-being and make plans for the group. Like all of the project's work, engagement is completely voluntary. So we are exploring different ways to keep in touch and engaged.

Some of the group decided that they would like to try another forum so we created “Whatsapp Wednesdays”. This small, closed group, has clear and agreed ground rules and is managed by Ruth with the specific focus of setting group challenges to keep one another busy and also to pose care and justice related questions in the future. Staf has also supported young people in the project to stay digitally connected with top up vouchers, vouchers for food and other creative activities such as mindfulness colouring books to keep people busy.

Artivism: Project update and digital exhibition

Artivism, our issue-based arts project have also had to take the decision to move the exhibition online. This collaborative project with Articulate Cultural Trust and artist Scott Lang will see 6 young people’s creative masterpieces showcased on the 6th of April in a digital exhibition. Watch this space for further information.

Participation Work in Polmont

Alongside Barnardo’s we are also exploring ways that we keep our young people involved in the project in HMP&YOI Polmont involved during this difficult time. The group have been working really hard and recently agreed on a name for their group: Inside Out. “We are in the jail and the people we work with are on the outside” - this was referring to Youth Just Us group they work alongside under Youth Justice Voices, staff, services and the people they want to influence as they take their views from inside to the outside world.

Digital participation

Ruth is hosting a virtual meeting with practitioners interested in supporting one another with digital participation groups this Friday at 11am. You should contact [email protected] directly if interested.

'Youth Justice Voices' is a Scotland-wide participation project, jointly run by Staf and The Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice (CYCJ) and funded by The Life Changes Trust, which seeks to amplify the voices of care and justice experienced young people (aged 16-25) to influence national change.