Interesting Year For Houghton Regis Youth Council

By Alan Winter

Three members of Houghton Regis Youth Council attended a meeting of the Community Services Committee of the Town Council on Monday this week and were greeted warmly by the local councillors who were pleased to hear of their involvement in the town this year.

Having operated for about three quarters of the year, they had volunteered at local events. At Houghton Rocks they were involved in a tattoo stall and two of their number performed on stage. At Get Growing, they had come straight from school and began planting in Bedford Square. In July they helped at the Town Carnival, running the coconut shy and lucky dip, and other games including a Slimy Sludge Game. Funds raised from these stalls went towards the Town Mayor's nominated charities.

At the Skate Park Competition, Youth Council members had assisted with the colouring-in stall and a bungee activity. While at the Mayor's Inauguration, they gained a view of how the Town Council works and how meetings are run.

The Youth Council attended the Pride of Houghton Awards last month where they received a special certificate from the Mayor, Cllr Joanna Hillyard, for their efforts which made them feel valued and appreciated.

Overall they feel they are helping to put across a better perspective of Young People within the town.

They have yet more activities coming up this year. They'll be helping at the Carol Service and at Santa's Grotto in the Houghton Regis Library, while also thinking about other events for next year.

Community Development Officer at the Houghton Regis Town Council, Tara Earnshaw said, "Young people are not elected onto the Youth Council — they simply turn up to a meeting and are made to feel welcome. This gives them an experience of what the Youth Council is all about and from there that young person can choose if they want to be a part of Youth Council and what they can commit to, in terms of future events and activities."

"I attend the local Youth Club in Bedford Square Community Centre every other Wednesday to inform young people about the Youth Council and send out our leaflet to local schools on a regular basis as well as the Town Crier, social media, notice boards etc."

"We currently have 9 Youth Council members and a capacity for around 5 more."

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