On Wednesday 20th January 2016, Rob Wilson MP, Minister for Civil Society announced the Government’s commitment to continued funding for the British Youth Council to support its Youth Voice initiative including the UK Youth Parliament until 2020. In a speech to supporters during a celebration of last year’s award winning Make Your Mark campaign he revealed that he intends to offer a long term grant to the British Youth Council to maintain its work in relation to UK Youth Parliament and associated activities.
The celebratory event in Westminster, was hosted by John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons at Parliament to recognise the success of the UK Youth Parliament’s Make Your Mark ballot last year, and mobilise the views of 969,992 young people across the UK, cementing its place at the UK’s largest referendum of young people. The evening of celebration recognised the successes of individual young people, local authorities and schools with awards.
Rob Wilson MP, Minister for Civil Society, who addressed the audience of young people, local authorities and parents renewed his support for the UK Youth Parliament, saying that the Make Your Mark campaign had “captured the imagination of young people and schools across our country”
In reaction to the positive news Jon Foster, Chair of the British Youth Council said: “Young people around the country will have a renewed sense of worth knowing the Government values their views and opinions. I’m really looking forward to working with the Government and our supporters to ensure that together we can continue to play an active role in our democracy.”
Minhaz Abedin, 17, Member of Youth Parliament for Leeds Member of Youth Parliament for Leeds who is due to join the UK Youth Parliament Procedures Group for 2016 said: “It’s absolutely fantastic news that the Government will be continuing the invest in the voice of young people! It’s absolutely imperative that young people are at the table when decisions are being made that will affect them and their future!”
James Cathcart, CEO of the British Youth Council added: “We are very pleased with this commitment and stability which will enable us to confidently appeal for matched funding, donations and sponsorship to deliver the full range of opportunities in the Youth Voice initiative. If anyone would like to join us as funding partners, or make a donation – please contact us!”