Participation & Youth Voice

The YPS participation offer empowers young people from across the borough to influence and inform the decisions that affect their lives. The service supports young people to get involved in their communities and democratic processes locally, regionally and nationally, making a difference as volunteers, campaigners, decision-makers and leaders.

Young people are achieving this by being involved in our 
Youth Forum, takeover challenges and young people’s events. 


SYA Youth Forum

The SYA Youth forum is a group of young people who meet regularly to discuss campaigns and issues in their local areas. These young people represent their own youth organisations and represent the views of their peers at important meetings and events throughout the year. For more information please contact

Our Community Our Future

The Young People’s Service is a partner in the Our Community, Our Future social integration programme.

This programme is funded by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government. Blackburn with Darwen was invited by MHCLG to be one of five national Integration Areas to work closely with the Ministry on innovative plans to address social integration challenges.

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council worked closely with a wide range of local partners, including the Young People’s Service, to develop the borough’s social integration strategy. It sets out how partners will work together to strengthen relationships between people from different backgrounds, to help the borough become a place where diversity is valued, and where people’s faith and cultures are understood and respected. The Our Community, Our Future programme has four priorities, one of which relates specifically to young people:

To build connections and strengthen relationships between young people who live in the borough’s diverse communities

The work of the Young People’s Service is already contributing to achieving this goal. In addition, as part of the BwD Strategic Youth Alliance, we are helping to deliver a Youth Ambassador project for 12 to 16 year olds. This free 10 week programme is designed to equip young people with the skills they need to become leaders in their local communities and empower them to work with others to set up positive social action projects that make their neighbourhoods better places to live.

Our Youth Integration Forum brings together young people from different parts of the borough to work together on projects. Forum members have taken part in a weekend residential to explore issues around identity and belonging, and worked together to plan and run a Great Get Together event for young people and their families.

You can find out more about the Our Community, Our Future social integration programme by emailing or calling 01254 304597.

Children In Our Care (CIOC)

The junior and senior CIOC voice groups will meet at Kaleidoscope on Thursdays 4-6pm for junior and 6.30 – 8.30pm for senior.

The sessions will include a wide range of activities such as Archery, bushcraft, multi-sports, arts and crafts, cooking along with an annual workplan supporting CIOC to have their voice heard and acted upon at various meetings such as the Corporate Parenting Executive Board, Corporate Parenting Specialist Advisory Group. 

They will also invite key professionals to attend so that the young people can ask them questions in relation to health, education and accommodation.

Youth Voice

The YPS participation service delivers a number of weekly sessions around ‘Youth Voice’ activities; these include the Youth Forum, a programme of local events, regional monthly Youthforia meetings and national events such as the MYP annual sittings.

Youth Elections

The service delivers the annual Youth elections which are staged over a one week period. Candidates are nominated from secondary schools, colleges and youth organisations and are supported in developing manifestos, poster and video campaigns. 

The BwD Youth MP (MYP) and deputies (DMYP’s) form part of the BwD Youth Forum and each young person will shadow an executive member throughout the year. This places young people at the forefront of the democratic decision making process and allows young people’s voices to influence local decision making and to design and shape services that effect children and young people.

Want to contact your Youth MP?

Takeover Challenge

The BwD Youth forum co-ordinate the annual ‘Takeover Challenge’ in November where many young people are given the opportunity to host and run an event on issues effecting children and young people.

Want to know more about last years event?

Find out more

Follow the BwD Youth Forum on Twitter