Young people in Wolverhampton are being encouraged to get involved in issues that affect them and their peers across the city.

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The new Peer Zone initiative is aimed at helping teenagers aged between 13 to 18 to get involved in policy and decision making around safety issues in their schools and communities.

The scheme is run by Wolverhampton Peer Support Network, in partnership with the Anti Bullying Team, Wolverhampton Safeguarding Children's Board, the Youth Service, the Police, KIC FM and Wolverhampton Learning Technologies Team.

Peer Zone will focus on 4 key themes which are police, crime and gangs; bullying; safety and publicity and media. Each theme is being headed by a professional lead, including the Chair of the Safeguarding Board, a Police Officer from the Gangs Task Force, the Council's Anti Bullying Co-ordinator and the Head of the Learning Technologies Team. The professional lead will direct the work of the theme teams but also ensure that the views of young people and their ideas are directed to the most appropriate channels for action.

Young people who sign up to the initiative will be given accredited training, take part in volunteering schemes and will attend regular Peer Zone meetings to discuss issues.

Wolverhampton Peer Support Network oversees mentoring, befriending and peer education schemes operating in many of the city's secondary and primary schools, as well as a variety of community, voluntary and youth settings. They trained 500 young people as peer supporters during the last year and will train at least this number this year.

Issues that the mentors help to address include bullying, the transition to new schools, inclusion and helping improve attainment.

Councillor Phil Page, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Schools, Skills and Learning, said: "This is an exciting initiative for young people in our city.

"It encourages them to get involved with key issues that affect them and their peers, have a say in how these should be addressed and make a real difference in their schools, communities and amongst their peers.

"Wolverhampton Peer Support Network already provides a valuable service to young people and this is another scheme that will help give teenagers a voice."

Any young person interested in getting involved in Peer Zone should email:

  • released: Thursday 31 October, 2013