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  • http://www.coleggwent.ac.uk/september2017
  • http://www.coleggwent.ac.uk/september2017

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Coleg Gwent Hosts First Ever South Wales Youth Summit


The Royal Commonwealth Society, Coleg Gwent, RCS Wales and WE Schools held the first ever South Wales Youth Summit last weekend. 
 
Around 100 young people from schools and youth groups across South Wales joined together with students from Coleg Gwent at their Crosskeys Campus to discuss contemporary issues and democratic engagement at the local, national and pan-Commonwealth levels. 
 
Video messages from Michael Sheen OBE and the Manic Street Preachers were joined by live talks from Simon Weston OBE and Chris Evans MP, giving inspiration whilst discussing democracy and empowerment.



The charity WE Schools facilitated a series of workshops during the first day, discussing issues that had been selected by a youth panel, reflecting contemporary concerns of Welsh youngsters. 

The following day, The Royal Commonwealth Society facilitated a Model Commonwealth Summit, with the participants acting as the heads of Commonwealth countries and again discussing these issues, this time from a country perspective. 

The summit encouraged students to use their public speaking and debating skills to represent their chosen country’s views on global issues, as well as a surprise crisis scenario.
 
The event aimed to build confidence, Commonwealth and political knowledge, and understanding of democratic procedures, as well as bring the participants together to create action plans for change in their local community. 



Feedback after the summit showed that 100% of students learned more about the commonwealth, 97% of students felt inspired to take action and felt capable of change and 95% would like to attend a similar event in the future.
 
Debbie Field, Head of School for Care at Coleg Gwent Crosskeys said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Coleg Gwent and local students – they are discussing real issues that Welsh youth face today.”
 
Helen Jones MBE, Director of Education and Youth Affairs at the Royal Commonwealth Society added: “The participants of the South Wales Youth Summit showed themselves to be bright, engaged youth with a wealth of potential. Now more than ever the Commonwealth and its values are of the utmost importance and the Royal Commonwealth Society is proud to have worked with such brilliant young people to bring these to life.”

Students tweeted after the event:
“Had the most amazing, inspirational, eye-opening two days at the first ever South Wales Youth Summit. #SWYS2016 @walesrcs”
“What a busy day representing Cyprus! @walesrcs Thanks for having me!”
“So inspired to make a change in my community after attending the #SWYS2016 and listening to speeches by @MalkiaJenny and Simon Weston”
16/11/2016


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