Seb and Poppy representing Central Bedfordshire Youth Parliament with Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP
Two members of Central Bedfordshire’s Youth Parliament have set an ambitious target in a bid to get young people’s voices heard.
The annual Make Your Mark ballot, the largest consultation of young people in the country, opens on Friday 22nd August and will run until 9th October. It will see youngsters across the country asked what issues matter most to them, to determine what is debated by the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) in the House of Commons on 11 November.
Ahead of that date, Seb Jolly (Member of UK Youth Parliament) and Poppy Galloway-Rogers (Member of UK Youth Parliament) attended the 18th annual sitting of the UK Youth Parliament, in order to prepare for the House of Commons debate.
Seb 12, is a former Alameda pupil and will be moving on to Redborne Upper School in September. Poppy, also 12, and a former Brooklands Middle pupil who will be moving up to Cedars next month, were both elected to Central Bedfordshire Youth Parliament and UK Youth Parliament in February 2018.
The pair, along with 250 other members of the UK Youth Parliament, were welcomed by the Rt Hon John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons, and heard from Lloyd Russell Moyle MP a former member of Youth Parliament himself.
During the recent three-day event at Nottingham University the delegates debated issues that affect young people, and took part in workshops and skill sessions. They also voted to decide which ten topics should be incorporated in the UKYP Manifesto.
These will form the basis of the ballot, which is open to all 11 to 18 year olds. The top five topics will be debated at the House of Commons in November with one then chosen as the UKYP’s priority campaign. That will again be chaired by Mr Bercow and broadcast on BBC Parliament.
“ I really enjoyed the whole experience it was great to meet MYP’s from around the UK, we were giving a lot of freedom to explore issues that affect young people and we collectively decided which of these issues are added to the UK Youth Parliament Manifesto. “
“Poppy and I have set ourselves the target of getting at least 8500 ballot papers for Make Your Mark from Young People across Central Bedfordshire to ensure that the area is well represented in the House of Commons debate.”
"Because it was 100 years since the Women got the vote there was a workshop on inspirational women and I chose to attend that. This event helped us (as part of the UK Youth Parliament) campaign and debate about issues that matter to young people of Central Bedfordshire and form opinions."
Voting takes places both online and through ballot papers issued in schools and youth centres.
Last year’s Make Your Mark ballot saw 970,000 young people taking part nationally, including 5678 in Central Bedfordshire, making it the largest youth consultation of its kind in the UK.