Youth Engagement Strategy

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Our Youth Engagement Strategy was presented to Council at the October 7, 2019 meeting. Developed using community input, eight strategic items have been identified to make South Huron more youth friendly. 

8 Strategic Items
1. Attract Entertainment The Municipality looks to attract some sort of entrainment activity to give youth a place to socialize. This could include a bowling alley, movie theatre, arcade or a youth centre.
2. Enhance Recreation The Municipality continues the recreation planning discussion. Participants would like to see more options with affordable rates and progress on enhancing recreation opportunities in South Huron.
3. Youth Volunteer Recognition The Municipality creates some sort of recognition for those individuals that put time into the betterment of our community. This could take the form of a youth volunteer-of-the-year award.
4. Youth Council The Municipality enacts a youth council to provide input on community projects. The youth council would also help further youth engagement and host events in the community.
5. Carry on Youth Engagement The Municipality commits to ongoing engagement with the community on youth friendly initiatives.
6. Public Engagement More opportunities for public engagement are created. This could include more open houses, coffee & chats with the Mayor etc.
7. Communications The Municipality communicates more with the public and has a bigger presence on social media. Communicating more with the public will also help the transparency issue identified by some project participants. This could include promoting the dates of council meetings and streaming council meetings.
8. Employment Campaign The Municipality works with the BIA and Chamber to conduct a campaign highlighting the range of jobs in the region.

What's the latest?

Council has directed staff to prepare a terms of reference for a Youth Council and a Youth Volunteer of the Year Award, as outlined in the staff report from October 7, 2019.

How did the strategy come about?

The Municipality of South Huron partnered with the Rural Ontario Institute (ROI) on a special project to engage youth (15-29) in conversations about the future of our communities. Using a grant from ROI, South Huron hired a Youth Engagement Strategist for the summer to lead a four month project (May - August, 2019) with three objectives:

  • Develop a youth engagement strategy for the Municipality of South Huron;
  • Build civic engagement and leadership among youth, and increase community capacity for future youth engagement;
  • Produce a report detailing the youth engagement strategy with reflections on lessons learned and promising practices.

This work will generate opportunities to make South Huron even more appealing to youth as a place to live, work and play, which will ultimately assist in recruiting and retaining them in our communities. We're calling this project Thrive South Huron.

What is the Rural Ontario Institute?

The Rural Ontario Institute is a non-profit organization based in Guelph, Ontario with a mission to develop leaders and facilitate collaboration on issues facing rural and northern Ontario. With funding provided by the Province of Ontario, ROI launched the The Municipal Internship: Youth Engagement Strategies Project to support ten (10) communities to hire an intern, develop and implement youth engagement strategies, and actively provide a voice for local youth in the ongoing development of their communities. Of 35 applicants, South Huron was one of the successful communities to receive a grant!

Rural Ontario Institute

Your input is important!

Want to effect a positive change in South Huron? Then we want to hear from you!  You can join the conversation by following @southhuron on FacebookTwitter, and brand new Instagram account that we're piloting as part of this project. Join the conversation #southhuronyouth.

If you have ideas on how to connect with youth then please contact us anytime!

Contact(s)

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© 2018 The Municipality of South Huron, 322 Main Street South P.O. Box 759 Exeter, ON N0M 1S6