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Youth Voice

Your voice and opinions are the most important part of youth work and shape the support you receive – we call this Youth Voice.

You should be able to express yourself, know that your opinions count and that you can make changes in your own life and in the lives of others around you and your community.

Youth voice is there to inspire you to care and be interested in the world, other people and their lives. When you understand this and want to change things, your life is richer and you grow as a person.

Through youth voice, we engage you in activities and reflect on positive experiences and how they benefit you personally and society at large.

Youth voice is important to every service we deliver to young people, playing a part in everything from early help plans to children in need meetings and everything in between. This website would not exist without youth voice.

Youth voice is not only about you having your say, there are some big opportunities for young people in Sefton, including:

Sefton Young Advisors are a group of young people aged 15-22 who work with community leaders and decision makers to ensure the voices of young people are heard in community life. Young Advisors are employed by Sefton CVS and are paid and trained professionals.

Young Advisors bring expertise of being young into their community and can provide services such as: youth proofing, training for adults and young people, video creation and report writing.

They plan and facilitate SYMBOL (Sefton Youth Making Better Opportunities with Leaders) meetings.

They have strong links with the local and wider community and have previously worked with: the NHS, The Violence Reduction Partnership, The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and more.


The Sefton Youth Voice Strategic Steering Group was set up in 2022 and reports into the Children and Young Peoples Partnership Board.

The group is chaired by Sharon Cotterall, Strategic Lead for Children and Families at Sefton CVS and has membership including the Local Authority, Education, Health and the Voluntary Sector.


  • The Voice of children and young people is heard and influences service development.
  • Oversight and co-ordination of consultation and feedback.
  • Development and sharing of good practice.
  • Maintain a library of consultation.
  • Production of a newsletter.
  • Increase awareness of existing consultation mechanisms.


The Youth Voice and Participation Toolkit is a document aimed at professionals that work with or engage with children and young people.

The toolkit was originally created in 2015 and updated as an action from the Sefton Youth Voice Strategic Steering Group in 2022.

It helps to guide professionals to understand the importance of meaningful engagement with children and young people and gives ideas on engagement techniques.


SYMBOL meetings are an opportunity for young people to meet and work collaboratively with key decision makers in Sefton. Young people are involved in the planning and delivery of SYMBOL activity and attendees vote on the topics that are important to them.

SYMBOL Reports 

SYMBOL June 23 (pdf 1.02MB)
SYMBOL Oct 2022 (pdf 9.19MB)
SYMBOL May 2022 (pdf 2.41MB)
SYMBOL November 2021 (pdf 3.21MB)
SYMBOL July 2021 (pdf 2.14MB)
SYMBOL March 2021 (pdf 6.22MB)
SYMBOL November 2020 (pdf 399KB)
SYMBOL June 20 (pdf 4.09MB)

Last Updated on Monday, October 30, 2023

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