A REPORT prepared by teenagers from across Andover will be shared with key decision-making organisations, to help represent the views of young people in the town.

The Andover Youth Assembly saw approximately 20 young people from ages 11 to 18 come together to discuss the issues that matter most to them - from their view on the town centre masterplan, to the provision of activities for their generation.

Across three evening meetings, the participants heard presentations from a variety of organisations in the area, and contributed ideas to be brought together in a final report.

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The idea was held at Beech Hurst, and run thanks to a collaboration between Test Valley Borough Council, Andover Vision and Unity.

The young people were selected to make up a “mini public”, representative of the make-up of Andover in terms of gender, ethnicity, postcodes etcetera.

Member of the Youth Parliament, Dmitrijs Meiksan, said: “It was such a positive thing, with them all so involved and engaged. You can see that they want to be able to contribute to the local community

“The main [take away] has been that key stakeholders are already doing the right things, but there needs to be more opportunities for young people to get involved with them. Information from the community needs to filter down, through schools.”

TVBC leader, Cllr Phil North, added: “Well done to the Andover Youth Assembly - who have been working hard over the last three weeks to articulate what it means to be a young person living in Andover and what can be done to improve that experience.

“Test Valley Borough Council facilitated this in depth deliberative approach - not just to hear the aspirations of young people from a broad range of backgrounds, but to understand their priorities. 

“There was some really interesting feedback such as having access to a non-parental trusted person who could help advise young people if they get involved in something they don’t want to be involved in. Crucial for their mental well-being. As well as having access to more events and fun activities - although not necessarily aimed exclusively at young people.”

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He continued: “I took the opportunity to invite those that took part to the next meeting of the Andover Vision stakeholder group where alongside partners we can start to develop an action plan to improve the lives of young people living in and around Andover.

“Thanks to organisations such as Unity Online, Yellow Brick Road Projects and Koala for contributing.”

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