Bristol City Mayor visits Young Carers Voice

They will make sure he considers their needs and carries their voices to strategic level.

YCV members were keen to invite Mayor Rees to visit as it is well known that he is a champion of young people throughout the city.

Mayor Rees explained his role as Bristol City Mayor; he told members how he had grown up in Bristol and talked about some of his work relating to young people. It was clear he wanted the meeting to be a conversation, allowing everyone to get the most out of the visit. He asked the young carers how they experienced life in the city.

Kai Richards, age 17, told of his experiences of his mum navigating the streets in a wheelchair, and how the lack of dropped curbs could add time to simple journeys. Mayor Rees invited Kai to talk to the Congestion Task Group to raise these concerns.

Kay Ballam, age 16, explained the challenges for her sister using public transport in a wheelchair. Mayor Rees offered to introduce Kay to James Freeman the Managing Director of First Bus.

Our South Glos YCV members proudly told Mayor Rees about YCV’s role producing a Young Carers Strategy and Action Plan for the council. They asked why Bristol still did not have a clear strategy for young carers and suggested that they consider a ‘young carer friendly’ version like the one produced by South Glos Council. Mayor Rees agreed this was needed and suggested Helen Goodwin, the Children and Young Peoples’ cabinet lead, could offer support.

Ellie Holley, age 14, gave an impressive presentation about her recently received Diana Award for the work she has done raising awareness of young carers. She is beginning a project to continue this work and asked for YCV members’ support. Mayor Rees shared details of the City Leadership Programme and suggested Ellie would be an ideal candidate when she reaches 16.

YCV members were particularly pleased when Mayor Rees offered to give them all a tour of City Hall and his office in the near future. This will be an opportunity to learn more about democratic processes in the city; we are sure it will be an educational and inspirational visit.