Over 40 Members of Parliament from across the UK pledged their personal support to promote awareness of the UK Youth Parliament’s Make Your Mark ballot. The vote has been ‘open’ since Friday 12th August 2016 to anyone aged 11-18 years old, to ‘Make their Mark’ on the ballot to shortlist what is debated in the House of Commons chamber by Members of Youth Parliament on 11th November 2016. The vote closes on Wednesday 5th October 2016 and you can find out more and cast your vote online here: www.ukyouthparliament.org.uk/makeyourmark
Support included Minister for Civil Society, with responsibility for youth policy, Rob Wilson MP and British Youth Council Honorary President, Wes Streeting MP. You can find pictures of the Members of Parliament who pledged their support on Facebook.
The ballot will contain 10 policies voted for by Members of Youth Parliament including mental health, and lowering the voting age, which reflect their election pledges in local elections across the UK earlier in the year. The campaign will see Members of Youth Parliament and volunteers across the country, invite young people in schools and youth clubs to take this opportunity to have their say and to inform and influence Government and decision makers in their communities.
This year’s campaign, supported by the British Youth Council, NCS (National Citizen Service), Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health, and #iwill Campaign aims to beat last year’s record of 969,992 young people taking part.
The Commons debate will take place on 11th November, and will be chaired by The Rt Hon John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons, who recently spoke at the UK Youth Parliament’s Annual Sitting in York. Young members will then walk through the division lobbies to vote on what should be a become their priority campaigns for 2016/17. In recent years they prioritised “Mental Health” and “Tackling Racism and Religious Discrimination”.
Young people can take part in the consultation by visiting: www.ukyouthparliament.org.uk/makeyourmark
This year’s Youth Parliament, which itself was elected, is expected to be one of the most diverse groups of representatives, with a gender balance, young people from ethnic minorities and different faiths all sitting on the green benches. The young elected representatives, aged 11-18, include many facing the day-to-day challenges that their campaigns seek to address.