Epping Forest Youth Council
Tuesday, 3rd September, 2019 7.00 pm

Proposed venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping

Contact: D Gilson-Butler Tel: (01992) 564365  Email:  dbutler@eppingforestdc.gov.uk Tel: 01992 564365

No. Item


Confirmation of Chairman & Vice-Chairman


It was noted that Tom would be the Chairman and Dan would be the Vice-Chairman for this meeting.


It was noted that as we are now paperless, Epping Forest District Council will be issuing all Youth Councillors with iPad’s over the next 2 months. Di asked for volunteers to pilot the iPad use before they are issued to all Youth Councillors. Zak, Dan and Archie volunteered.



Apologies for Absence


It was noted that Stanimir Bakalov and Abigail Whelan have resigned as Youth Councillors as they are both going to university. The Youth Councillors thanked Stan and Abigail for their contribution to the Youth Council over the years and wished them well in their studies.







That the minutes of the meeting held on 2 July 2019 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.


Vanessa Gayton - Introduction


Vanessa introduced herself and gave a brief history of her work with Epping Forest District Council. Vanessa is now the Community and Culture Team Manager and will be working with Epping Forest Youth Council. Vanessa congratulated the Youth Councillors on the We R Safe project and is very much looking forward to attending events and will endeavour to attend as many full Youth Council meetings as possible.



Barnardos Guest Speaker Lisa Golding - Healthy Schools Engagement Worker


Lisa was unable to attend the meeting and sent apologies.



The Red Box Project Guest Speakers - Yve & Natalya Oronto-Vidal


Yve introduced herself and her daughter and gave some information regarding The Red Box Project Epping Forest.


The Red Box began when 17 year old Amica George (student) became aware that her friends were missing school due to not having sanitary products. The Red Box Project is run by volunteers and is a nationwide Community powered initiative to ensure no young person missed out on their education because they have their period and lack of access to sanitary products. There are around 5,000 boxes in circulation nationwide.


Since becoming a volunteer for The Red Box Project in February 2019, Yve has delivered 26 red boxes into 24 settings and has set up donation boxes at her workplace for people to donate. Once the organisation notices supplies are getting low they can email: redboxprojecteppingforest@gmail.comand volunteers will top up the boxes. Yve would like to keep the initiative going until the government provides sanitary products for free to end period poverty. 


Yve asked the Youth Councillors to take this information into their schools and ask the schools to contact Yve and obtain a red box for their school. Yve is also reaching out to other educational and young people’s settings, i.e Guides, after school clubs so that young people can continue to go and enjoy their activities.


Di invited Yve to attend the Youth Conference which schools will be attending. There will be stands available for Yve to promote the project. 



Youth Councillor Updates


As the Youth Councillors have not returned to school, Tom asked Youth Councillors if they have updates for the posters to let Di/Paula know.



CRY fund raising update


The fundraising doughnut sale for CRY can now resume and the information packs can be sent to teachers for their support.


Paula will have the information packs ready for next week. Youth Councillors will need to book a date to meet with a senior teacher to discuss the school’s commitment and support.


Youth Councillors will need to:


·                 Agree a lead teacher;

·                 Identify teacher to support on the day of the doughnut sale;

·                 Confirm a date and time for the doughnut sale;

·                 Agree with parents to collect the doughnuts the day before;

·                 Set up an information table; and

·                 Design school posters.



Drug Report Assemblies


In May Harriette, Barnaby, Zak and Eleanor met with the Right Honourable Dame Eleanor Laing to highlight the concerns documents in the Drug Report on page 22.


Dame Eleanor has raised these concerns with fellow Members of Parliament and the Youth Council have received a letter from Victoria Atkins MP, the Minister for Crime Safeguarding and Vulnerability. Victoria Atkins ensured Epping Forest Youth Council that the Government are working hard to address the harms of nitrous oxide as suggested in the Youth Council Drugs Report.


Victoria Atkins stated that, those supplying nitrous oxide for recreational use, or who are reckless, using it for its psychoactive effect, are subject to the offences in the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016. This includes a maximum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment. Since the 2016 Actcame into force, over 300 retailers across the UK have either been closed or are no longer selling the psychoactive substances.Action by the National Crime Agency has resulted in the removal of psychoactive substances being sold on UK based websites. The Act also warns retailers to pay attention to the potential for abuse, especially when customers buy nitrous oxide in bulk.

Victoria Atkins also states that theOnline Harms White Paper, sets out the Governments plans to make companies more responsible for their users’ safety online, especially for children and other vulnerable groups.The Government intends to establish in law a new duty of care on companies towards their users, overseen by an independent regulator. The regulator will set clear safety standards, mandatory reporting requirements and effective enforcement powers. Victoria Atkins letter is available.



MiLife Digital


Over the past 3 years, MI life has been delivered to all year groups in the 7 secondary schools in Epping Forest District and 26 primary schools. The schools have been very supportive and enabled us to deliver the one-hour roadshow to over 10,000 pupils.


This year Epping Forest District Council and the Red Balloon Foundation will be working closely with the schools to present the MiLife digital programme. MiLife digital can now continue to be delivered to the pupils but without the actors and support staff. A total of 14 films have been produced, each one being age appropriate, the films can be shown in a classroom setting and discussions can be led by the teachers.

Youth Councillors have seen 6 of the 14 films that have been commissioned by the district council. The quality of the films is outstanding and our thanks go to the Red Balloon Foundation for delivering such a high-quality piece of work. 

The legacy of our MiLife project will continue as The Red Balloon Foundation have had the capacity to deliver the project outside of the district in; Harlow, Thurrock, Waltham Forest, Welwyn and Aylesbury. We have recently been contacted by Thurrock Council to look at developing a similar project with the Red Balloon Foundation.

This project has far exceeded ours and the previous Youth councillor’s expectations and we are very proud of our collective work.

Recent data collected by the Communities team at the #consequences roadshow for year 9 pupils, shows that mental health is a still a concern for young people.

Vanessa suggested a MiLife digital launch. A discussion was held and it was suggested that some of the video highlights could be shown at the Youth Conference.



Health & Wellbeing Youth Conference 2019


Talks with the West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group have already begun, to deliver a Youth Conference in Epping on Friday 22 November. The theme will be health and wellbeing, the Conference will include a Youth debate. The Right Honourable Dame Eleanor Laing will be attending, along with representatives from the NHS team and Epping Forest District Council members.


It is planned that the Youth Councillors will host the conference and lead the debate. A discussion was held and suggestions for a topical debate were:


·                 Sugar tax on all food with a high sugar content; should we or should we not?

·                 Should there be tax on fast food?

·                 Should fast food be banned?


The suggestions will be discussed at a further meeting and decided at a later date.



We R Safe- Feedback


The We R Safe premiere was hailed as a great success, with numerous dignitaries giving their support and praise to such an amazing project. Over 70 guests attended the premiere and the Youth Councillors gave a highly professional presentation. Impressively the 5 films collectively received almost 5,000 views in just a few weeks.


We have also received over 20 emails of congratulations and we have also received a letter from Buckingham Palace and the Chief Constable BJ Harrington, congratulating us for our outstanding work with the community.



We R Safe Project - School Assemblies


The next part of the project will be to deliver the We R Safe presentation in all secondary schools, letters will be sent to your head teachers this week, schools can then select a date for us to visit, and with your help we can present the We R Safe films to years 7 and 8.



Volunteering Days


Last year there was no interest from schools to send pupils to an EFDC led volunteering day. This is still being offered to schools and Di asked if Youth Councillors could speak to their teachers to see if there is any interest.



Event Feedback


Tom visited Epping Forest District Museum for the Scouts 100 year celebrations. For 100 years Scouts around the world have travelled to Epping Forest to learn new skills, make friends and revel in its beautiful landscape. Gilwell Park has become renown across the globe as the spiritual home of Scouting. Tom said this event was very enjoyable and encouraged Youth Councillors to attend, it is on until 12 October 2019.



Young Citizen of the Year


Paula encouraged Youth Councillors to encourage teachers to nominate someone for the Young Citizen of the Year awards 2020. The award recognises people in the community who go above and beyond, making positive changes in the Epping Forest District. Youth Councillors can submit online application forms and the closing date is 29 November 2019. The criteria can be found on the website:






Submission forms


Sky Yarlett is the Education and Engagement Officer at the Houses of Parliament and will be running a debate training session on Tuesday 17 September here at the Civic Offices.


Mica Marshall from the West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group would like to meet with the Youth Council on 24 September to discuss the Health and Wellbeing youth conference on 22 November 2019.


Abbas Mirza from Whips Cross hospital would like to consult with the Youth Council on Tuesday 8 October. As the hospital are re-developing and would like to hear what young people’s views.


The High Sheriff of Essex Dr James Betterly would like to attend a future youth council meeting on Tuesday 12 November as an observer.


Susan Lewis will be visiting you all on Tuesday 26 November to talk about the District Councils Customer strategy and Customer Focus Group. 




Any Other Business


(a)       Notices by Diane


Youth Conference date Friday 22 November

Meeting with the Right Honourable Dame Eleanor Laing – date to be confirmed


Jack Petchey Ceremony date for the winners

Megan Wilson             APRIL

Florence New              MAY
Rene Kent                   JUNE

If the winners have not already attended a Jack Petchey ceremony to collect their medallion the next one will be on Monday 7 October at @ 19:30, at the Civic Theatre, Chelmsford CM1 1JG, please let Di know how many guest tickets you would like as it’s a ticket only event.


EFDC Cup awards

The last winner was Zak Smith in July. Zak is an outstanding youth councillor and has taken a lead role at events and meetings and works to a professional and high standard at all times. So well done Zak and you have set the bar high for the other Youth Councillors to receive this honour for 2019/2020.


(b)       Notices by Paula


Diaries have been updated and emailed to you.

GDPR requirements – Parents will be sent a new consent form.

Youth Activities map needs promoting in your schools and youth projects, Paula asked Youth Councillors to give the link to teachers.


(c)       Notices by Vanessa  - well done everyone.


(d)       Youth Councillor notices


There were no further notices



Date of Next Meeting


The next meeting agreed for Tuesday 8 October 2019 7-9pm. Rene will Chair the meeting and Archie will be Vice-Chair.