Recognition is truly amazing: Guest Blog from Sussex Youth Commission, Compact Engagement Award winners 2015

Sussex Youth CommissionIn 2014, Katy Bourne, the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), set up the Sussex Youth Commission (SYC) which aims to work in partnership with young people across Sussex to tackle urgent priorities such as reducing re-offending, hate crime, drug and alcohol abuse, relationships with the police and anti-social behaviour.

This work won the SYC the Compact Engagement Award at the 2015 Compact Awards. Below, SYC members Nadine Smith and Sefton Dosi talk about their experiences of partnership working through the SYC and what it means to be recognised with an Award.

Nadine - helping others and getting recognition

As someone who has not always had the best experience with the police, I was really keen to join the SYC because I’ve been on both sides. I’ve experienced the youth offending system, and now I’ve come through it and am helping young people on the other side to deal with things. It’s so important to ensure that the relationship between young people and the police is as positive as it can be. As a team all of us in the SYC worked so hard on making sure that we engage with a cross section of our community to make sure that all voices were being heard.

It was so humbling to win the award for community engagement. Getting recognition for the efforts that we have put into making a change is truly amazing and I am grateful that I had the chance to pick up the award with Katy and another SYC member, Sefton. The support from Katy and Sussex Police has been brilliant - we're very lucky in Sussex! Sussex Police have done a great job working in conjunction with the SYC, listening to groups of young people's views and demonstrating a willingness to adapt their style of policing. I'm very proud to say that I am a part of the Youth Commission and am proud of all of us.

Sefton - a sense of achievement

It was such great news to be nominated for the Compact Award for ‘meaningful engagement within the community’. It just goes to show that the hard work we at the SYC have carried out has been recognised. But to win and collect the award really gives you that great sense of achievement that the work you are carrying out is changing things for the better. We have seen tangible results already, regarding the night-time economy in Brighton. Young people reported to us that they felt intimidated by large groups of officers in the city centre. Following this feedback to Sussex Police, the style of policing has changed. It’s very refreshing to see that we have been listened to and these recommendations have been put into place.

Following over 2,000 conversations with young people throughout Sussex, the SYC  prepared a series of recommendations. These were presented to the PCC, Sussex police and partners at a conference at the Amex Stadium on Wednesday 23 September. You can view a short film of the conference above.

You can find out more about the SYC here, and read their successful Compact Awards nomination here

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