Services for Young People Hertfordshire Services for Young People

Being a Young Commissioner – committed to making a difference in Hertfordshire

02 May 2023

Young Commissioners work with Hertfordshire County Council Commissioners and other professionals to shape the services available to children and young people in Hertfordshire.

A group of young people sat around a table having a discussion.

Trained and supported by Services for Young People (SfYP), Young Commissioners have a say in choosing who delivers the services, how they are delivered, and they also monitor how effective they are in meeting children’s and young people’s needs.

Amber, an SfYP Youth Worker who supports the group, interviewed one of the Young Commissioners to see what they get out of being involved. This is what they had to say:

What do you like best about being a Young Commissioner?
My favourite part of being a Young Commissioner has to be the discussions within the group, the small debates over how to grade or decide on something. I think this aspect of how we work together as a team, dealing fairly with differing viewpoints, is really interesting.

What is your biggest achievement since becoming a Young Commissioner?
Possibly helping to decide on the theme of this year’s Feeling Good Week, ‘Be Kind and Connect’. Also being nominated to attend an event for volunteers at County Hall.

How has being a Young Commissioner helped you in your life?
Aside from being an aid to my CV and profiles, which has helped me to get involved with other charitable groups, I have got to know many new people; both professionals in HCC, through whom I’ve achieved a wider understanding of different roles in local government, and my fellow commissioners who have been good to get to know and who have helped in various personal choices.

What skills have you gained and how have you used them?
Primarily, critical analysis of plans and organisation at the conceptual level. We decide on various tenders to implement schemes and projects, dissecting their propositions. This has given some insight into what to look for when planning myself. I have used these skills in planning aspects of charity events, for my school and in my work with DENS [homelessness charity]. Shortfalls and vagueness of prospective bids became things to look out for when planning myself and proposing things to others.

What would you like to tell other young people about what it’s like to be a Young Commissioner?
It’s useful for your own progress, helpful to the community and, even though some sessions and tasks are long, any monotony is broken up by discussion and debate with the people around you. Our input is often directly beneficial, aiding in the design of services and schemes for Hertfordshire. It’s good to have some impact on the organisations that are tailored toward us.

The Young Commissioner programme is open to all young people aged 11 to 17, up to 24 for care experienced young people and those with learning disabilities, who live or go to school in Hertfordshire.

Read more about SfYP Young Commissioners and how young people can get involved.

Find out other ways SfYP supports young people in Herts to get their voice heard.