UK Youth Parliament will launch its ballot of young people on the 1st February 2022 as part of its drive to determine the biggest issues. The nationwide ballot gives young people aged 11-18 the opportunity to shortlist the topics they feel are the most pressing issues facing young people across the UK.
The month-long campaign to seek young people’s views is delivered by the British Youth Council with support from UK Parliament and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. This year’s survey is jointly funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, BBC Children in Need and the National Lottery Community Fund and aims to reach hundreds of thousands of young people. This year young people will be able to participate online, through the outreach of local authorities, in schools and within youth groups. Since 2011, more than 5 million young people from every corner of the country have taken part in Make Your Mark. In previous years, shortlisted issues were debated in the House of Commons chamber by Members of Youth Parliament.
Sarah Staples, Chair of the British Youth Council, the youth-led charity which coordinates UK Youth Parliament said: “Make Your Mark remains an important chance to speak to young people and find out exactly what’s on their mind. When we’ve completed our consultation, we’ll have a clear mandate for stating decision-makers should not only listen to the concerns of young people but act on them.
“It really is exciting to work alongside so many partners to deliver such a flagship campaign. This continues to be a milestone opportunity to influence decision making at a local and national level and I can’t wait to see the results”
Members of Youth Parliament and volunteers across the nations will invite young people to take this opportunity to have their say, influence the government and the decision-makers in their communities. Schools, colleges and youth groups who wish to enable their young people to participate in this year’s Make Your Mark campaign can still register to take part. In some parts of the UK, young people will also have the chance to elect Members of Youth Parliament to represent their area. Young people elected will then join hundreds of their counterparts listening, debating and campaigning on the biggest issues facing the country.
For the first time, as part of the annual campaign, the British Youth Council will also work with the Centre for Youth Impact and its other partners to ensure more meaningful youth voice and power work moving forward, both across our collective vision for young people and more widely across society. The project will include additional efforts to gain gather insight into organisational experiences of supporting youth voice and better understand the ways organisations involve young people and any barriers to participation.