Government turns to Instagram to seek policy guidance from teenagers

New initiative will seek to gain views of people aged 13 to 25
GH Cassel from Pixabay

By Sam Trendall

03 Jul 2020

The government has unveiled a new Instagram page through which it wishes to garner policy guidance from teenagers and young adults.

The ‘Involved’ account will use the photo-sharing site’s polling and stories functions to ask questions related to “decisions made at the heart of government”. The government wishes to hear the responses of young people aged between 13 and 25.

The insights gained “will then feed directly into live public consultations and wider policymaking across government departments”.

Issues on which input will be sought could include “how they feel about social-distancing measures, what support they would like in accessing information about coronavirus, and what extra help they feel they need during this time”.

Minister for civil society Baroness Barran said: “Young people often feel like it is hard to get their voices heard. Involved will give them an easy way to contribute their views on issues that matter to them, helping our decisions as Ministers to reflect these better. This commitment to involve young people’s views in policymaking is part of our ambitious, long-term plan to support them to thrive as we rebuild and recover from the coronavirus outbreak.”

The online tool will be run by charity the British Youth Council, supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. It was designed by the 30 young people on the Youth Steering Group – a collective that was last year convened by DCMS via the council, with the goal of making the voices of children and young people better heard in government.

Harley Taylor of the Youth Steering Group said: “Young people are passionate about seeing social change in their communities and must be able to participate in the decision making of government. Involved will serve as an important opportunity to gauge young people’s views on the hot topics within government.”

The group is currently recruiting for further members, and young people aged 16 between 25 that are interested in taking part are can contact membership@byc.org.uk to apply via written or video message, or a voice note. The deadline for applications is 12 July.

At time of going to press, Involved has made two posts, and attracted 162 followers.

The British Youth Council’s work on the project is supported by The Mix, Youth Focus North West, Youth Focus: North East and Youth Work Unit in Yorkshire and Humber to deliver the project.

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