Young People's Voices Heard at Planet Youth Event

Young People

The voices of Dundee young people were at the centre of an event to consider the key messages that have been delivered by them through a survey under the pioneering Icelandic Planet Youth initiative. 

A seminar was held at the Steeple on Wednesday May 8 to look at the key messages which had been delivered by young people. 

Dundee City Council and local partners will use data from the survey to help focus efforts to improve young people’s health, wellbeing and relationships. 

Currently running as one of six pilot areas in Scotland, Planet Youth is now taking place in communities around four Dundee secondary schools – Baldragon Academy, St Paul’s Academy, Harris Academy and St John’s High School. 

In 2023, the Scottish Government invested £1.5million over two years in Planet Youth in Scotland to test the model and build capacity for using data insight to drive preventative action locally.   

The latest Planet Youth survey was conducted October 2023 across the four schools, involving S3 and S4 pupils, focusing on a wide variety of wellbeing indicators to allow risk and protective factors to be identified. 

The survey touches on subjects like substance use and emotional wellbeing, as well as the relationships between young people and their peers, their families, school and the wider community.  

Planning and actions around Planet Youth are linked with the schools and Local Community Planning Partnerships, supported by Dundee Alcohol and Drugs Partnership. The partners are also working with charity Winning Scotland. 

City Council Children, Families and Communities convener Councillor Stewart Hunters said: “Planet Youth gives us a unique insight into what our pupils are thinking and feeling. 

“The council and other agencies are using this data to focus efforts on how we can increase protective factors for these young people and reduce risks for them. 

“I am pleased to see that Dundee’s strong partnerships are well represented at this event and that our pupils’ voices are being heard.  

“They are the future of this city, and we need to support them in the face of the many challenges of life today. 

“I know that the organisations involved in this Planet Youth event are committed to doing all they can to help our young people.”    

Key messages on protective factors which have emerged from the survey include: 

  • Time spent with parents in the evening and weekends is high 

  • Feelings of care, warmth and safety are felt at home 

  • Young People know where to go to report and gain support if they are impacted by abuse 

  • Majority of young people have positive relationships with staff in school  

The survey has identified the following risk factors across the city: 

  • Low levels of supervised activity time 

  • Young people express low feelings of safety outwith their home 

  • An increase in young people accessing pornography 

  • Low levels of self-esteem and self-respect   

Winning Scotland CEO Zahra Hedges said, “We are delighted to be working with Dundee City Council and their partners on this approach, which focuses on using insight from teenagers to help create better environments for younger children to grow up in. Similar approaches in Iceland and elsewhere have led to a huge and sustained reduction in risk taking behaviour, and an increase in young people feeling healthier, happier and safer. This pilot is an important part of ensuring that this approach will work for children and families here in Scotland too.”  

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