After the busy day that was the UK Youth Parliament House of Commons sitting, the evening of Friday 17th November saw the outgoing and incoming Steering Group head to Milton Keynes for a packed weekend of reflecting, learning and planning.
The Steering Group is a board of twelve young leaders who advise and lead the UK Youth Parliament programme. The group are all former Members of Youth Parliament, with each elected by current MYPs to serve their region and nation and lead UK-wide programme delivery and governance. The Steering Group supports the MYPs in their region or nation throughout their terms of office, as well as organising and delivering regional and UK-wide events and making key strategic decisions around policy, the Make Your Mark campaign and much more.
We used our weekend in Milton Keynes to ensure the new group had all the information and skills needed to fulfil the role effectively, to give the outgoing group the chance to reflect on the successes and learnings from the programme, and to work together to plan an even more impactful programme for 2024-26.
Jamie Burrell has been on the Steering Group since 2021 and has recently been re-elected until 2026, representing the South West. He is also responsible for the British Forces Overseas.
“Our handover residential really was about just that – handing over the responsibility of leading the UK Youth Parliament to a new group of extremely passionate young people. I was at this event with three different hats on – outgoing member, incoming member and a member of the handover working group!” he said.
“I had the exciting opportunity to help plan and deliver this event and we sought to deliver an engaging and exciting programme for the old SGs and the new SGs. I really enjoyed meeting the new Steering Group and taking on board what we’ve learned over the last two years to plan an even better, more impactful programme for the next cohort of Members of Youth Parliament! I’m so excited to see what this group will achieve and the impact we will make over the coming months.”
Eva Woods is new to the role of ‘SG’ and will represent the East of England in the upcoming UKYP term.
“The Steering Group was a highly visible and approachable part of the programme during my term as an MYP and it was wonderful to spend some time in Milton Keynes exploring what they do behind the scenes”, she said.
“Inspired by my predecessor’s skill in leading and engaging the region, I’d been really looking forward to picking up the reins, and I was grateful for the chance to bounce ideas off the incumbent group. The Steering Group has a brilliant audience with The British Youth Council leadership and it was reassuring to get some insight and guidance from an experienced cohort.
Having read the manifestos of the other group members, I really look forward to seeing our ambitions come into play. What’s most exciting though is the thought of meeting next term’s MYPs and brainstorming how we can support them to gain as much as possible from the experience, for their own development and for the wider platform of youth issues.”
The role of the Steering Group in the UKYP’s delivery is evidence of the genuine youth leadership behind its work: a group of young people made passionate by their own experience could not be better placed to guide impactful changes to the programme. Now trained and inducted, equipped with the insights from last term’s cohort, the Steering Group of 2024-26 are excited to get to work with the fresh group of nationally elected youth leaders.
This blog was co-authored by Eva Woods, Steering Group representative for East of England, and Jamie Burrell, Steering Group representative for the South West.