Young people put their questions to Gwent’s decision makers

Young people from across Gwent have put their questions to decision makers as part of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s third Youth Question Time event.

The virtual event was held in partnership with the Gwent Regional Youth Forum, with  more than 100 young people joining from Gwent’s five counties.

A broad range of questions were asked on issues such as mental health, career prospects, youth homelessness and domestic abuse.

Maisy Evans from Torfaen’s Youth Council chaired the event. She said: “This was a fantastic event and was really well attended. It is so important that young people get to ask these questions to people who can really make a difference.

“The audience asked some very difficult questions and the open and transparent responses from the panel were greatly appreciated.”

The full panel included the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert; Chief Constable of Gwent Police, Pam Kelly; Dr Rhiannon Cobner, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Lead for Gwent Community Psychology; Nicola Fitzpatrick, Head of Domestic Abuse Services at Llamu; and Anita Dillon from Careers Wales.

Jeff Cuthbert said: “The decisions that we take as public and third sector organisations in Gwent will have a direct impact on children and young people, and it is right that they have the opportunity to hold us to account.

“It is crucial that their views are considered at every stage of the decision making process and this event is just one of the ways we are working with our partners to listen to children and young people about what is really important to them.

“I was incredibly impressed with the range and maturity of the questions asked and the professionalism of the members of the Gwent Regional Youth Forum who ensured the smooth running of the event. I would like to thank everyone who took part and who worked hard behind the scenes to make it a success.”

Young people from schools and youth groups across Gwent joined the virtual event, which has traditionally been held at the University of South Wales in Newport.

Chief Constable Pam Kelly said: “The energy and passion of the young people involved made for a hugely enjoyable event. Our younger generations must be involved in our conversations to help shape a future for us all; their ideas and concerns are key to us getting this right. They asked challenging but thoughtful questions and their fresh perspective helps us all look at issues in a new way.”