[C]umbria County Council’s Youth Support team is calling for all schools, academies and colleges across the county to encourage and support their students to run for election and become Members of Youth Parliament for Cumbria.
The UK Youth Parliament is a national forum of 300 young people from across the UK, providing opportunities for 11 – 18 year olds to use their elected voice to bring about social change through meaningful representation and campaigning and to use their energy and passion to change the world for the better.
Cumbria County Council has three MYP (Member of Youth Parliament) seats available for UK Youth Parliament and three Deputy MYP posts.
The UK Youth Parliament has 300 elected members aged 11 – 18. Members of Youth Parliament are elected in youth elections throughout the UK every 2 years. Any young person aged 11-18 can stand or vote in the election. In the past two years, one million young people have voted in UK Youth Parliament elections.
Once elected, MYP’s organise events and projects, run campaigns and influence decision makers on the issues which matter most to young people in their area. All MYP’s meet nationally twice a year; at the UK Youth Parliament Annual Sitting, and the UK Youth Parliament House of Commons Sitting.
Any young person aged 11 – 18 years can run for election as a Member of Youth Parliament. In Cumbria we are looking for candidates from across the county in three regions:
- West (Allerdale and Copeland)
- North (Carlisle and Eden)
- South (Barrow and South Lakes)
Students are also able to have their say by contributing to the ‘Make Your Mark’ campaign. Make Your Mark is led by the UK’s Youth Parliament and provides a unique opportunity for young people to have their say on the issues that matter to them. All students can vote in a ballot to decide which topics will be debated by the UK Youth Parliament during 2018.
A debate to discuss and confirm the topics will take place in November 2017 in the House of Commons, chaired by Commons Speaker John Bercow MP. The aim is to get over one million young people’s voices from across the UK heard through Make Your Mark this year – last year over 978,000 votes were cast nationally, with 13,000 of those from Cumbria.
Jacob Reid, Member of Youth Parliament for Carlisle and Eden, said: “It’s no secret that the concerns of Young People have gone unanswered for too long in this country – but this is changing; in recent years the national Make Your Mark ballot has been completed by millions of young people now they have a platform to raise their views and ideas.
“The Youth Parliament’s campaigns have enabled meaningful change to occur both locally and nationally on issues affecting young people – from tackling the stigma around mental health to increasing the accessibility of PSHE resources. Ultimately, the Make Your Mark ballot is a success because of the young people who participate in it – whether they champion it in schools or simply cast a vote. This is an opportunity for young people to have their say and I would strongly encourage all young people in Cumbria to get involved!”
Councillor Sue Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Schools and Learning, said: “The UK Youth Parliament is a fantastic platform for young people’s views to be heard and debated. The views and interests of young people are extremely important and I’m delighted so many young people in Cumbria are keen to have their say on the issues that matter to them. I’d encourage all young people to get involved in the Make Your Mark campaign through their school, college or youth group and to cast a vote on the topics and ideas that affect them and their future – they are our leaders of tomorrow and this is a superb way to start understanding how voting, representation and democracy works in action.”