What is the Reading Youth Council?



We are a group of elected representatives for the young people of Reading, who campaign on issues that have been highlighted both locally and nationally. We also get involved in projects.

We make a difference by voicing all our opinions to the decision makers. Some of the things we do include:

Taking part in planning, delivering and evaluating services for young people

Consulting, meeting and influencing decision makers

Consulting with young people

Promoting positive images of young people

Taking part in interviews for Brighter Futures for Children

Campaigning for important issues for all young people in Reading

Joining the Reading Youth Council is a fantastic opportunity to have your say on issues that are important to you, develop personally and also enhance your CV or personal statement.

The Reading Youth Council also works with the Berkshire West Safeguarding Children Partnership, the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP), the Children in Care Council, senior managers at Brighter Futures for Children, councillors at Reading Borough Council and local voluntary groups and the community.

So get involved and make a difference!

To find out more or to join email readingyouthcouncil@brighterfuturesforchildren.org.

Or you can contact Joseph Barrett our Participation Officer via email at joseph.barrett@brighterfuturesforchildren.org or call him on 07885 822 491.

About the Youth Council

The Reading Youth Council meets up every other Tuesday during term time, from 4.30pm to 6pm.  We are currently meeting online.

Like all things, the more you put in the more you will get out of being on the Youth Council.  We anticipate Youth Council will take approximately two hours a week on average, though if there is something you are really passionate about you may find yourself spending a bit more.  No matter how much you do, you should make sure that it does not interfere with school or college commitments.

The meetings are run by us – the young people on the Youth Council. We decide what we are going to talk about; this could be about our campaign work or issues affecting young people.  The Council decide who to invite to our meetings and who we would like to meet. This could be people like councillors and MPs, and people who work with young people. Our meetings are not all work – we try to do some fun things as well!

You will have the opportunity to campaign on issues that affect you and the young people you represent. You will meet new people, get involved in exciting projects and develop new skills (and maybe improve existing ones).

UKYP stands for United Kingdom Youth Parliament. If you are a member of the Youth Council you are eligible to stand for election to be Reading’s Member of the Youth Parliament (MYP). The MYP attend regional meetings approximately every six weeks. The MYP attends the UKYP Annual Sitting and takes part in a debate which is held in the Houses of Parliament. UKYP is an opportunity to represent young people on a national basis and may involve things such as attending meetings with government ministers.

Make Your Mark is an opportunity for 11-18 year olds across the UK to have their say and begin their democratic journey by voting on the policies they want to introduce or change.  This is run by the British Youth Council and determines what campaigns the UKYP focus on each year. Find out more about it here.

We are a strong elected voice, representing the young people of Reading. It is a very effective way for young people to communicate with decisions makers, to have our say and have influence on decisions which affect us and other young people.

To learn more about the role and purpose of Reading Youth Council, you can read our constitution here.

The Elections

Anyone who lives, works or goes to school or college in Reading can stand for election.

As long as you are aged between 11 – 18 years old on 1 January of the year that you stand, you can stand for election.

There are up to 30 spaces in the Youth Council, made up of existing members and newly elected members. Each member has a two-year term, but can stand for re-election if they wish to remain on the youth council.  We will announce how many spaces are available when election process begins.

All schools within the Reading borders are eligible to put candidates forward for election.  In addition, if you attend any of the schools on the outskirts of Reading such as Denefield, Little Heath, Chiltern Edge or Oakbank you can put yourself forward.

If you attend another school out of Reading but live in an area with the postcodes listed above, you will be eligible to stand.

Voting will take place in schools and colleges, online and in person.

If you are interested in standing for election to join the RYC for 2022-2024, please complete the application form which you can access by clicking the button below. The deadline to submit your form is 10 May 2022.

Once your form is submitted you will be contacted by our support staff to discuss how you wish to promote your candidacy, and we will support you to campaign within your school or your community. 

RYC application form

If you are successful you will join the Reading Youth Council after February half term, in time to support the BYC Make your Mark ballot.  You will be invited to join the meetings from that point onwards.

If you are unsuccessful, the support worker will be in contact to look at how else you can be involved in youth voice in your school and community.

Apply to stand for election to Reading Youth Council 2022-2024

Applications are now open to stand for election to RYC. The deadline to submit your application is 10 May 2022. See above for more information, or click the button below to nominate yourself.

RYC application form

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