YOUNG councillors in Dorchester have raised more than £4,500 for local causes  - with a bid currently being considered for another £7,000.

The Dorchester Youth Council (DYC) was re-established in 2022 following the pandemic which saw the closure of the previous Youth Council.

Around twenty young people, aged 14-18, currently regularly attend the monthly meetings held on Thursdays between 5pm and 6.30pm.

The DYC has been set up as a community organisation with its own constitution, a full set of policies and its own bank account which allows it to raise funds for activities and projects from external sources. The day-to-day running costs are met by the town council and which pays for refreshments for meetings and the use the Magistrates Room.

To date the Youth Council has raised £4,517 with is a current application pending to the Cooperative Young Gamechangers Fund for £7,000 towards the costs of the Anonymous Festival 2024.

Three events aimed at other young people in the town and currently being planned – a screening of a popular TV show at Shire Hall to link with their Youth Pride event; an open mic night, and a sustainable fashion show and clothes swop.

DYC is also working on a campaign to improve mental health support for young people and have identified three key objectives for its future work - Better access to more joined up, trustworthy information about services; Improving the way adults respond to requests to support from young people, and supporting young people who are on waiting lists to receive mental health services.

DYC members have volunteered at events including the Dorchester Science Festival, Holiday Hangout and during the Dorchester ReThink Fashion week and have taken part in several consultations about proposals for the town.

During 2024 the young people will again be involved in several town events including the Family Science Day, the Town Council 50th celebrations, Love Parks and Anonymous.