Youth Voice Bucks - Youth Summit

Youth Voice Bucks recently hosted a Youth Summit at Aylesbury's Waterside Theatre, inviting a cohort of AVA students to attend.

The event was designed to bring young people from across the county together to discuss the biggest issues and areas of interest for young people in Buckinghamshire today.

Students were invited to join various conversations on mental health, sexual harassment, LGBT+/Pride, knife crime, access for young people in rural communities, spaces and places for young people, and SEND rights, awareness, and voice.

Five of the AVA cohort were selected to be the 'Media Team' for the day, comprising three journalists and two photographers. They had the opportunity to work with a professional team and did a fantastic job. Other students took part in various workshops, group activities.

See below student feedback about the event.


Caitlin P Y11 

On the 23rd of February, a group of us went to the Bucks Youth Summit at the Waterside Theatre to discuss our view on several topics, such as mental health and sexual assault, as well as many other topics. My favourite areas were the Queer space and the SEND area. This was because it was a very open community and allowed us to talk to people with similar views to us. It was also a good opportunity to meet people from other schools and develop public speaking skills. Me and five other students were a part of the Media Team, which gave us the opportunity to note down information about the various topics. We were also able to take photos of the event which can be used to share important moments during the event. The event was very inclusive and had lighting that avoided aggravating sensory issues. They also had a quiet room for anyone who got too overwhelmed. The environment made us feel safe and we felt that our opinions were valued. I really enjoyed this experience and I think that the event should take place again so that teenagers can have a platform to share their views. 

Eleanor Gibbons Y10 

Today has been an experience of a lifetime that I will never forget. When we first arrived we were greeted by all the friendly staff members and where told what we were doing today.  The topics that where talked about where mental health, the queer space, feeling safe and protected, creative thinking, SEND, sexual violence, access in rural communities, and spaces and places for young people. I went to see the mental health, the queer space, and the SEND sections. In the mental health section I first planted a seed, then answered some questions about climate change. The queer space was my favourite as I was able to speak to other people about their views on homophobia in school settings. Speaking to these different people meant that I could take their ideas in to account and i could explain things that people wouldn't really know about. The SEND section was great as i had the opportunity to talk to someone with Tourette's. They explained to me that people with Tourette's can’t control what they say or do and its difficult as many people just assume that they are doing it on purpose or for fun. Within the marketplace at the end there were many stools showing their organisations and giving out free items. Overall today has been a great experience and i loved sharing my ideas and views on these topics. 

Izabela C Y11 

Youth Summit Bucks Voice: This amazing event on the 23rd of February included multiple interactive activities where people give their own opinions and carry discussions on the deeper effects on youth. There were different areas to talk about, one of them focusing on mental health and opinions about the impacts of climate change on how we view the future. Some answers included the anxiety that this world will be ruined, and some were encouraging towards saving the earth and being environmentally friendly. Another part was solely focused on the queer community and the different flags there are to be acknowledged by everyone which I found as an interesting display of their resilience similar to our own school values. I really enjoyed spending time socialising and meeting new people who were brave enough to share their stories and inspire me to share some of my own. Overall, it was an amazing experience to share my views on different topics with everyone else. 

Alexia C Y11 

After a warm welcome and a couple of words from the creators of the event, we were introduced to the people who would guide us into the day and all the activities that we could take part in. As we helped with the journalism team, we took turns with cameras and notepads to immortalise all the emotions felt by young teenagers there. We soon split into groups and headed on our way to various places. From mental health to SEND, people could wander in all types of spaces and find new people and learn more about problems in our increasingly problematic world.A refreshment break with sweets provided locally, and then another two rounds of conversation on topics like LGBTQ+ or creativity and jobs, some more games and friendships. At the end, a lunch, and a wrap up of all different ideas with our school group and a marketplace to sign up for anything we might want to do in the future as well as surveys about the event. 

Last words from the creators of the event, and then we were on our way back home with new feelings about the younger generation and thousands of ideas about what we can do for a better future, and some of us with a new plant. 

Kaylegh E Y11 

The youth summit: 

Immediately on entering the Waterside Theatre I felt a safe and welcoming atmosphere. I was a part of the media team, which meant that we would be taking photos and doing some journalism. This gave us the opportunity to build on our social skills and start interviewing people, leading to very interesting and insightful conversations where people's voices were heard. After a very informative speech telling us the plan for the day, we were free to explore different spaces such as: the queer space, crime, sexual violence, mental health, creative space etc. Since we were a part of the media team we were always on the lookout for photo opportunities and build on our social and photography skills. Throughout the day I heard a lot of opinions and felt that I had become a part of a community. It was a lovely day and I would love to do it again. 

Roza W Y11 

On the 23rd of February 2023, a group of us has been chosen to attend a youth summit at the waterside theatre. Our lovely teachers guided us to our table with our labelled school name and we sat down. At first, it was a little overwhelming, but I came to love it. Everyone quieted down and a few members of staff began talking to us about how everything worked and what to expect. We have been told that we can choose any topic we would like to discuss and go to the designated areas/rooms that those topics were held in. I went around with the media team to journal and capture photos of the various discussions happening around the place. The lighting was very cosy and every person attending was very lovely. I felt safe in every area, and I felt like I could share my opinions and judgements freely without worrying. There was also a quiet room for anyone who had a sensory overload or was anxious. I have learnt a lot and met lots of talented and kind people who I would love to do it again. 

Ted Allison Y11 

Summary of the youth summit. 

Today on the 23rd of feb 2023 we attended a youth summit in the waterside theatre in which we had the role of the media team, and so we were assigned as journalists. When I first entered the Building I was a little overwhelmed but soon after when we found our seats, I realised how nice everyone is. The first thing I did was get the camera and start taking pictures of all the interesting things we saw. We saw all sorts of things like talks on queer space, SEND talks, sexual violence, crime, creative arts and mental health and overall, all the information that they gave us was so helpful and really helped me to figure out what I can do for my mental health, and it also helped me understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy coping mechanisms.