The Elders Council, together with WEA, recently organised a six-week course about civic engagement called Active Voices and an Elders Council trustee was asked to take part. She reflects on her experience:
“I must admit that I didn't really have a clue as to what I was signing up for, but I am really glad I did. This was an amazing course which covered just about everything I needed to know in my role as a volunteer at various organisations (although I hadn't even realised it!).
“The sessions covered power (who has it, how to use it, etc.) and how to do research or complete a project – both subjects chosen by us, covered from planning to completion. There was even a session covering the press and media, very useful as in these days of austerity you never know when you might need to call on them with help to raise funds or advertise your event.
“The hope is that this course will roll out across the city (I know that there are already plans to hold one in Byker). So if you get the chance to go on one, please grab the opportunity – I can promise that you won't regret it.”
Note: The Elders Council is planning to deliver more Active Voices courses in the next few months. If you are interested in participating please email [email protected] .
Getting into the festive spirit has not stopped us from also looking at the serious matter of Newcastle City Council's Budget. Members of the Elders Council joined the Youth Council in attempting the Budget Simulation. After 2 hours of debate, we very reluctantly reached a balanced budget, but only by cutting back on services which we all regarded as essential. Members of the Elders Council Board met with Council officers to discuss the budget proposals and will be preparing a formal response which will be on our website soon..