In early October children and young people came together for the 2nd Children’s Safeguarding Conference, an event jointly organised by the Manchester Safeguarding Partnership and MCC Childrens services, but led by young people. It took place at the Science and Industry museum with young people from a range of schools presenting on topics important to them, including Sexual harassment, inappropriate touching, cost of living crisis and safer streets and communities. In the morning we heard from Loreto High School, Wright Robinson, Dean Trust and Whalley Range. The afternoon session saw an interactive music session from Cheetams school of music, and an input from Bridgelea around online bullying. The young people designed the workshop content, with pupils from St. Peter’s RC High hosting and supporting the smooth running of the event. Each of the schools presented to the audience, which was made up of senior representatives across health, GMP, education and Children’s services. The day was just the beginning of wider project work to come, as each school will now work with a nominated champion who will support the young people in bringing about positive change in relation to their chosen topic, the impact of which will be shared at a follow up reflection event next year. The whole day was a celebration of Children and Young People’s Right to have a say in decisions that affect their lives (Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child).
There was also the opportunity to talk directly to the young people about what their hopes and dreams would be for a better Manchester as part of our Child Friendly journey, the results of which will form the Discovery findings.
This will be an annual event, and just another example of how in Manchester we listen to the voices of children and young people and involve them in decision making.