Civic Centre, West Street, Oldham. OL1 1UT
0161 770 3116

OYC Meeting Minutes – 22/03/2023

OYC Meeting Minutes – 22/03/2023

First meeting as Chair / Vice Chair for Isaac Quinn (L) and Penelope Spencer-Simpson (R) respectively


Isaac, the chair, greeted us, and started the meeting with an icebreaker.

Ms Widdowson came into the meeting – Oldham’s Cultural Partnership Board are currently working on constructing a bid for funds to create a new Young Cultural Producers Programme, which would offer young people paid, part-time (16hrs / week) short-term contracts to support Oldham’s Cultural Organisations such as Oldham Theatre Workshop, Gallery Oldham, Oldham Libraries and organisations responsible for programmes such as the Switch-On Reindeer Parade. Participants also will receive training alongside pastoral care.

Four questions were asked:

  1. How long the contracts should last for (6, 9, 12 or 18 months) – youth councillors generally suggested between 9-12 months.
  2. What style should the contract be (single-placement (participant is only at one organisation) or multi-placement (participant is with many organisations)) – youth councillors had mixed opinions.
  3. Whether the programme could include a formal qualification (vocational) – youth councillors generally agreed there should be.
  4. Which age category should the program accept – 16-25 or 18-25 – youth councillors generally agreed 16-15.

Subsequently, Ms Widdowson asked us to split into 3 groups, with people asked to discuss one of the following topics:

  1. What types of issue may arise and what support would young people would most need in order to successfully complete the placement and thrive at it.
  2. What types of training is suitable and why?
  3. What should happen before and what should happen after the programme as support would be most valuable to the participants?

Then, Ms Widdowson asked for youth councillors to share a 10 forward survey.


The following people ran for Deputy Member of Youth Parliament (DMYP), who will assist the MYPs Prem and Tom. They will also step up as MYP in 2024:

  1. Olivia Everitt
  2. Hamza Iqbal
  3. Ying Shi
  4. Mohammed Saif Uddin

The following people ran for Greater Manchester Youth Combined Authority (GMYCA) rep, two people will be elected and will be representing Oldham on a Greater Manchester scale:

  1. Aaliyah Ahmed
  2. Dylan Davison
  3. Joey Legge
  4. Luke Henshaw
  5. Leo Nicholson
  6. Mohammed Saif Uddin

The 9 people running spoke their speech on why youth councillors should vote for them, subsequently questions were raised to those running for MYP, including questions on what they will do to ensure Oldham’s young people’s views are conveyed, what unique selling points they have, how they will interact with Louie (the other current DMYP) and what relevant events they have been to.

Afterwards, the people running for GMYCA were questioned, with questions including what overlooked problems they see and what they would do about it and what makes people better than just ‘representing’.

The DMYP for 2023/24 will be YING SHI and the GMYCA representatives for 2023/24 will be AALIYAH AHMED and LEO NICHOLSON.

Chris discussed the recent ten forward on the last meeting regarding the careers education and advise, which is crucial for Oldham Council. There were 107 responses, however for such a large youth council this isn’t enough, considering 60 responses came from one youth councillor.

Chris also added that if people aren’t getting emails from Chris, that you need to contact him, as it is crucial. Additionally, if printed forms are ever needed, Chris will provide them.


Mahdlo is the large youth centre which provides facilities such as music, activities such as rock climbing, 5-a-side, arts and crafts and more. It is located on Egerton Street, near to Blue Coat school.

Mahdlo would like to get more involved with OYC and help in campaigns, as long as OYC looks at their issues when need be to. They have 150 regular participants, and they have offered the youth council a notice board alongside staff encouraging the participants to look at the notice board and become engaged. Additionally, Mahdlo offered us to have a stall between 6pm and 8pm which we could held approximately every 1 or 2 months. The stall could help get young people’s views through surveys, recruit candidates and more.

During the priorities meeting on Wednesday the 12th of April, some members of OYC will be visiting Mahdlo to get a sense of what we should do, and a stall will be set up introducing OYC to the young people.

Chris will request on behalf of us to accept the notice board, and state that we may use the stalls, initially once every 3 months with discussions to change the frequency happening within the youth council.

Prem (the Member of Youth Parliament) gave an update on the UKYP campaign for 2023.

The campaign is called food for learning and is a campaign for free school meals. It was decided after 434,000 young people voted for health and wellbeing in Make Your Mark (February 2022) and MYPs voting for the campaign to be Health and Wellbeing AND Cost of Living in November 2022. This lead to the campaign ‘food for learning’ being formed.

The aim is to make sure all under-18s receive free school meals, including home-schooled pupils (who currently can not get any form of free school meals regardless of income). This is because in England at least, only children from reception to Year 2 are included in the scheme, with anyone from Year 3 to Year 11 only being permitted if their family makes a net income of £7,400 (which is very low). Additionally, some parents may not even claim free school meals, for instance due to stigma against it, and some pupils may feel ashamed to eat free school meals since they can’t afford as many options as their peers – the main aim is to reduce inequality.

The goal is to get all political parties to include the scheme in their manifestos for the general election, and to create a youth-led food for learning bill into action.

UKYP requests young people to engage with MPs and councillors by sending them a letter. There is a template online, however Prem wondered if it would be worth it to come as a youth council to write a letter to the MPs who represents part of the Oldham borough: Jim McMahon, Debbie Abrahams and Angela Rayner. Prem however noted that the councillors will be going into purdah soon so it wouldn’t be possible to get action.

Youth councillors and anyone who wants to send an email to their MP may find it useful to read this article:

Additionally, UKYP want the MYPs to host a lunch with a local MP after the exam season in a session called “Spill The Tea” where the MYPs and young people from Oldham talk about free school meals and why it should be universal, with all of the benefits.


  • Thursday the 30th of March 2023 6pm to 7pm; Reclaim – they are an organisation who work to advocate for young working class people. They would like to talk about a public space consultation (on how young people can access these spaces e.g. a library or museum) and how they can access it without being discriminated. Anyone aged 12-18 is permitted to attend this session, and two people from there can be on the board to help guide decisions. The room is to be confirmed.
    One example of discrimination is that the Oldham Youth Service paid for some young people to go to the Coliseum, however they were discriminated at the doorstep wrongfully.
    If youth councillors want to attend this, please email Dayna.


Tom stated that he and Chris spoke and wanted to include poverty and cost of living crisis on the manifesto. This will be discussed next week (Wednesday the 29th of March 2023) in the priorities meeting.