Youth Action Day inspires young people to speak up

22 Jun

Last Friday saw the British Safety Council host Youth Action Day at ZSL London Zoo.

This was a health and safety conference with a difference. No discussions about regulation, nor was there a suit and tie in sight. This was an event set to appeal directly to young people, and run by (relatively) young people, all taking place within the scenic and refreshingly laid back location of London Zoo.

The aim of the event: to get young people engaged and receptive to workplace safety, to encourage them to take action if they encounter unsafe practices in the workplace.

The day was opened by Hollyoaks actress Jessica Forrest who spoke about her own experiences of health and safety and who touched a nerve with the audience. Exercises throughout the day included a poster workshop, a health and safety quiz, a discussion about health and safety in the movies, a talk from a young explorer, question and answer session with a range of young experts from different backgrounds, and a live health and safety auction. There was also entertainment provided by a modern dance group and boy band who opened and closed the day with a bang.

Youth Action Day was free to attend for anyone under 19, and a number of schools and youth groups took advantage and benefitted from the experience.  Feedback was positive. One young person, Alfaz Dinmamoude, said of the day: “It was great, and was good to meet new people and learn new things. I enjoyed the whole day and I think it will help me be more aware of health and safety in the future.”

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