NSPCC Launches Voice Of Online Youth To Give Young People In Northern Ireland And Across The Uk A Say In Online Safety Decisions

Two teenagers from Northern Ireland are among a group of 15 young people from across the UK who will make up a new forum of young people to advise the NSPCC, politicians, regulators, parents and professionals about the best way to protect children online.

The ‘Voice of Online Youth’ is a group aged 13-16 from across the UK who are passionate about helping children to have safe and happy experiences online.

They aim to get young people’s voices heard and ensure decisions about online safety are informed by their unique experiences. They will do this by meeting with decision makers across all nations of the UK, attending events, and engaging in workshops.

The ‘Voice of Online Youth’ is formed of ten people from England, two from Northern Ireland, James T, 16, from Armagh and Elodie, 14, County Down, two from Scotland, and one from Wales, leading to diverse perspectives and life experiences in the group.

The group, which officially launched today (June 28th), forms as Ofcom consults on its initial plans to regulate social media under the Online Safety Act.

Elodie, 14, from County Down, says, “I applied for this role because I want to promote positivity online and I want to protect young people like myself from the Internet and make it a better place.”

James T, 16, from Armagh says, “I applied because growing up I heard of the NSPCC and all the good they do and I really want to be part of that and try to better the online community.”

Young people’s voices were central in the NSPCC’s Wild West Web campaign which called for the Online Safety Act. The charity made sure key decision makers heard about young people’s experiences and what they thought needed to change. The Voice of Online Youth will build on this through giving children a vital voice in the implementation of the act.

Sir Peter Wanless, NSPCC Chief Executive: “The Voice of Online Youth will offer valuable insight and a unique perspective to the NSPCC, bolstering our efforts to ensure children’s online safety is prioritised.

“This group can also help shape the thinking of policymakers and regulators, who desperately need to be considering the views of those impacted by online challenges to truly understand the issues they face.

“It’s crucial Ofcom engage with young people when implementing the new online safety regulation to ensure it is effective and results in a truly safer online world which children can enjoy.”

The NSPCC also want the next Government to ensure children and young people’s voices and experiences are meaningfully considered in the development and implementation of online safety regulation through introducing statutory mechanisms to ensure their voices are consistently heard.

Vodafone – who has been working in partnership with the NSPCC since 2023 – will be supporting the young people as they bring their experiences, ideas and learning to the discussion of safety online. Their input will help contribute to the industry’s collective objectives around online safety.

Nicki Lyons, Chief Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Officer, Vodafone UK said: “Ensuring young people are safe online is a critical issue that is rightfully gaining attention and momentum across UK society. Children are growing up in an increasingly digital world with the internet at their fingertips, so it’s vital that we listen to, and learn from, their experiences and concerns.

“The Voice of Online Youth will give these young people a voice. By making them part of the conversation, they can help inform policymakers of the issues facing them and support the development of much-needed tools and regulation.

“We’re proud and excited to be supporting the Voice of Online Youth, building on a partnership with the NSPCC that centres on ensuring all our children can navigate the digital world safely and confidently.”

Scroll to Top