Staf is delighted to confirm that our Youth Justice Voices project, a partnership between Staf and the Children and Young People’s Centre for Justice (CYCJ), has been shortlisted for a Howard League Community Award.

Youth Justice Voices is a Scotland-wide participation project, funded by The Life Changes Trust, which seeks to amplify the voices of care and justice experienced young people aged 16 to 25 to influence national change. The project has been shortlisted in the Children in Care and Care Leavers Category.

The young people leading Youth Justice Voices have already had a big impact, including:

  • Influencing the Disclosure (Scotland) Bill by meeting with the Minister for Children and Young People, Maree Todd MSP.
  • Being commissioned by the Scottish Government to develop an engagement strategy for Scotland’s new Vision and Action Plan for Youth Justice.
  • Being consulted by the No Knives Better Lives (NKBL) on their new initiative to create a virtual reality game for secondary school pupils that will educate them and provoke discussion about the dangers and risks of carrying or using knives.
  • Interviewed the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education, John Swinney MSP, and called for him to consider removing the age cap of 26 years for the Care Experienced Students Bursary – something he announced the following week.

Staf CEO Jo Derrick said:

“We’re all very proud of the young people who are leading Youth Justice Voices. It is clear that their work is having a big impact already and will lead to real change for their care and justice experienced peers.

“Being shortlisted for a Howard League Community Award is further evidence of the valuable partnership between Staf and CYCJ – I look forward to continuing to work together to improve the lives of young people with justice experience.”

Youth Justice Participation Worker Ruth Kerracher said:

“Youth Justice Voices could not have been shortlisted for this award without the hard work of all the amazing young people involved – not only do they continue to turn up and take part but they drive this project forward. I’m incredibly proud of every young person who has taken part in Youth Justice Voices. I hope to see more participation project’s receive recognition in the future.”

Chris Marshall, a young person involved in the project said:

“I’m actually over the moon. I’ve only been part of this project for a little while but it has been absolutely fantastic and I’m glad to be one of the young people who are part of this work.”

Find out more about the awards here.

Find out more about Youth Justice Voice here.