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You are here: Home Page > Council and Democracy > Council News > Archived News > September 2010 > Truth About Youth Conference

Truth About Youth Conference

Wednesday 15th September 2010

An event that showcases the exciting and innovative work produced by young people, to promote positive messages to their fellow peers, takes place at the University of Bedfordshire, on 16th September at 10am – 4pm. The messages will be used to combat risky behaviours such as illegal drugs, alcohol, knife crime, bullying and under age sex.

 

There will be 150 delegates there on the day, from all over the country. Professor Wesley Perkins from the United States, an internationally acclaimed expert in the research behind Social Norms, for over 20 years, is to be the key note speaker. Three of the eight workshops are to be delivered by Bedford Borough Schools involved in the research project. Feedback from the event will be used to promote positive messages to the young people within the community. Using social norms approaches, young people will be encouraged to make healthy lifestyle choices. The event will also highlight misperceptions about the number of young people engaging in risky behaviours, showing them as more responsible than many would perhaps think.

Findings from an initial pilot project in 2007, investigating if such an approach could be used effectively in schools, proved extremely encouraging in contributing to the reduction of teenage pregnancy and other risky behaviours.

Cllr David Sawyer, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, at Bedford Borough Council, said: “Communicating with young people, in their language, is so important when approaching the subject of how to avoid risky behaviours. The conference will go on to capture how young people feel they are perceived by the local community? And whether they feel they are supported sufficiently, in all aspects of their lives.”

Delegates will also have the opportunity to gain an insight into the use of modern technology, through social marketing, and share ideas for extending this work into the wider community and beyond.

 

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