The Voice of Young People, a group that aims to provide a representative voice of local youth, is holding a questionnaire to find out the issues affecting young people today. The VYP hopes to get people talking and discussing these issues in a bid to develop services for the youth in Gibraltar. The Chronicle spoke to members of the VYP about the initiative.
The Voice of Young People is circulating a short questionnaire via the Youth Centre website that looks into the issue young people in the local community are facing today.
The questionnaire asks people between the ages of 13 and 25 to rank what issues they feel require most attention.
Highlighted in the questionnaire are underage drinking, gender issues, mental health, peer pressure, teenage pregnancy, body image, bullying, drugs, social media, sexual health, obesity, and relationship, family, money and academic issues.
The questionnaire asks participants to rank these issues from one to six as well as include other issues they feel worth mentioning that have not been included in the questionnaire.
Participants are also asked to expand on any of these issues as well as include any suggestions on how to improve and develop these issues.
Jules Tavares-Yeats, Jude Benneworth, Adam Savignon-Balestrino, Katie Sanchez, Philip Gledhill Cortes, from the VYP spoke to the Chronicle about the questionnaire.
They were accompanied by Kathryn Whalley, John Napoli and Caroline Dixon from the Youth Centre.
The project aims to bring about political and social change to improve and develop services for the youth in the local community.
The questionnaire is a follow-up project from those in the VYP after their directory for local youth.
The directory was a collection of local emergency contact details as well as local services and organisations that young people in the community would need to access.
“It was a really great success where we provided the youth information on the services that there already is, now we are looking into the services that we don’t have or that needs to be improved,” said Mr Benneworth.
He explained the questionnaire presenting all of the services in Gibraltar and we are letting the youth decide on what issues needed to be addressed.
“With this information we would like to polish it into easy to look at data and send it over to the ministers to have a look at it,” Mr Benneworth said.
“We want to show them this is what our youth needs and see what they can do about it.”
Mr Tavares-Yeats added: “We’ve provided an easy ranking system so we can find out where people think the issues lie.
One of the highest ranked issues so far has been mental health and we are getting to see what the thinking behind that is.”
The group have been positively surprised to see that people have been expanding on the issues listed on the questionnaire.
Other issues not initially envisaged by the group have included housing and gambling.
“Once they have all the findings it is then for the group to decide what they do with the information, do they make a video, a presentation, or a play,” Ms Dixon said.
So far the group have receive 50 replies to the questionnaire having just promoted the project digitally.
The group are looking forward to accessing local schools where students can fill in the questionnaire.
The questionnaire will be open for a few more weeks.
To fill in the survey check out ‘Youth.gi’ on Facebook.
Pics by Johnny Bugeja