The call is going out to make sure as many young people as possible make their voices heard in the UK’s biggest youth consultation.
Somerset’s Youth Parliament, which is supported by Somerset County Council, is promoting this year’s Make Your Mark campaign which enables people aged 11 to 18 vote on the issues which are most important to them.
The top issues voted for, will be debated by the elected Members of Youth Parliament at the House of Commons in November.
The Youth Parliament wants to encourage as many young people as possible to get involved by voting at school and youth projects throughout September.
Somerset’s teachers and youth workers, youth organisations, groups and projects are being contacted and urged to register with the British Youth Council for ballot papers which will be sent to them in August, ready for September voting. You can do that here: http://www.ukyouthparliament.org.uk/makeyourmark/schools-colleges-and-youth-organisations/ (deadline for registration: 18 July)
There are power points and resources for teachers and workers available from this link too. Councillors and key community representatives are also being contacted to ask for help in promoting this unique opportunity for young people to have their say.
Last year UKYP secured over a million votes and Somerset had a record number of schools and projects sign up.
The Speaker of the House of Commons, MP John Bercow will facilitate the November debates as MYPs represent their own counties throughout the day.
At the end of the day all MYPs will take a final vote on which campaigns to take forward next year.
The County supports the Somerset Youth Parliament by helping to coordinate and organise its activities. Recently, the authority also agreed to set aside £25,000 of its new Prevention Fund for the SYP to distribute on initiatives that focus on improving the lives of young people.
Frances Nicholson, Lead Member for Children’s Services at Somerset County Council, said: “Getting involved in the Youth Parliament not only gives young people a fantastic chance to make their voices heard, it’s an opportunity to socialise and develop important skills for life.That’s something that children said was important to them and is part of our Children and Young People’s Plan.
“The council and its partners will continue to support the Parliament, which is at the forefront of representing universal Youth Voice and Participation across the county.”
Young people from across Somerset – including MYPs, recently helped to launch Somerset’s Plan for Children, Young People and Families 2019-2022 which can be accessed here. The plan touches on some of the concerns outlined in Their Manifesto which can be accessed here, along with other key priorities identified by young people as part of a blueprint for how Somerset County Council and its partners can support them.
To read more about this event and find out more about national campaigns and the British Youth Council search: http://www.byc.org.uk
You can also find out more about Somerset UK Youth Parliament group, Make Your Mark BIG VOTE and/ or local Campaigns by contacting: Kdarlington@somerset.gov.uk