A National Youth Summit is being held to offer young people the chance to explore radical solutions to the big topics of the day – from job security and mental health, to climate action and ethical working.

“This is one of the most challenging times to be a young person in the UK,” said Co-operatives UK CEO, Rose Marley. “Young people are facing mental health problems and anxieties on a scale that we’ve not seen before across a generation. The National Youth Summit is for young people who know something isn’t right with the world and want to do something about it.”

A recent YouGov survey revealed mental health, job security and career prospects, climate change and worries about personal data as the top issues occupying the minds of young people.

The National Youth Summit takes place from 12-7pm on Monday 11 July. It’s a free event bringing together leaders, changemakers and creators to empower young people through the principles of co-operation. The event has been shaped by a Youth Advisory Board – young people already working for or inspired by co-operatives and who want to help more young people understand what’s on offer.

“This is a conversation starter for anyone under the age of 30 – or anyone who is already working with young people – who want to find out more about what a co-op is and the opportunities co-operative working and living can offer,” said Rose Marley.

The Summit offers a packed day of inspired workshops and debates. Each session is run by a co-operatively owned or run organisation. It includes sustainable fashion from Stitched-Up; media training from Co-op News; and empowering under-represented voices with Co-operative College. The event culminates in a Question Time-style event with panellists Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham; Scottish Co‑operative Party Chair Ben Proctor; and Lenny Watson, founder of Sister Midnight, a south London based co‑op formed to create an inclusive grassroots music venue and community pub.

“I hope this event opens the eyes of young people so they can discover how co-operatives are a genuine alternative for solving issues they face every day,” said Mahalia Flasz, an Asset Planner at the Co-op Group and on its Young Members’ Board. “There is so much to learn and discover about co-ops that can make a genuine difference to your life – from housing co-ops to addressing climate change and sustainability. I want more young people to understand how they can be empowered – and the opportunities a co-op can provide to help build a fulfilling life.”

The National Youth Summit takes place on Monday 11 July, 12-7pm, at The Studio, 51 Lever Street, Manchester, M1 1FN. Book your free ticket here.

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Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared. Having worked and volunteered for charities in the UK for over 10 years, Nisha is on a mission to highlight how amazing charities are.

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