In the national Make Your Mark consultation 5570 young people from across the Rochdale Borough voted which issues were affecting them the most. The local results are slightly different to the national results and the top 3 issues voted in Rochdale are:
- Transport – make public transport cheaper, better and accessible for all.
- Tackling racist and religious discrimination, particularly against people who are Muslim or Jewish – all young people should work together to combat racism and other forms of discrimination, and ensure we know the dangers of such hatred.
- Raising awareness of sexual harassment in schools – let’s raise awareness of sexual harassment in schools so that young people affected don’t suffer in silence and can get support from schools and teachers.
Rochdale Youth Service organised an event on Tuesday 8th November where young people from across Rochdale, Heywood, Middleton, Milnrow, Newhey and Littleborough met with local councillors, dignitaries and service providers to share their opinions and question them on these issues to see what can be done to make improvements across the borough. The event was hosted by Rochdale Borough Youth Cabinet and led by the Member of UK Youth Parliament for the Rochdale Borough, Tabitha Rusden.
Guests who attended the event included Gail Hopper (Director of Children’s Services), Sandra Bowness (Assistant Director for Early Help and Schools), Usman Nawaz (NHS Manager and former MYP for Rochdale Borough), Margaret Smith (Town Chaplain) and transport service staff. They all sat on a table to discuss the topic appropriate for them, answering questions from young people and having discussions about what to do to improve services and tackle issues. After the group discussions, the guests all sat on a panel and after feedback was given about each topic discussed, other young people ha the opportunity to ask any extra questions. This led to further feedback and action points on these issues which young people were passionate about. Young people said they are now more aware about what is already being done to tackle the issues they face and how to deal with them in certain situations.
The MYP is now planning to attend the Head Teachers meeting to discuss concerns with them. Transport services have raised awareness of deals available to young people and will feedback other suggestions they made and the campaign to tackle hate crime with continue on a local level.