St Helens Youth Service takes part in UK’s largest youth consultation

Photo: Ben Lomas, speaking out at a Youth Parliament debate

St Helens Youth Service is taking part in the annual Make Your Mark ballot – the largest consultation of young people in the country.

In a national ballot running now until October 9, young people across the country will be asked what issues matter most to them, in order to determine what is debated by the UK Youth Parliament in the House of Commons on November 8. Voting takes place through ballot papers issued in schools and youth centres.

This year young people will be able to have three votes; a vote for a UK-wide issue, a vote for a devolved issue and an opportunity to write down a local issue. The top four most popular topics from the UK wide and devolved issues will be discussed by Members of Youth Parliament (MYP’s) in their November debate, chaired by the Speaker of the House of Commons Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP and broadcast live on Parliament TV.

Last year’s Make Your Mark ballot saw over a million young people voting, making it the largest youth consultation of its kind in the UK.

The St Helens Youth Service will be supporting all secondary schools, colleges and alternative education provisions during September to help young people aged 11- 18 years old take part.

The Make Your Mark ballots will also be used to help decide which school/provision will be awarded for the most ‘Outstanding Contribution to Youth Democracy’ during Parliament Week.

A motion by Ben Lomas, St Helens’ Member of Youth Parliament (with the MYP of Cardiff) regarding child poverty received an outstanding 97 per cent support from fellow MYP’s and is now part of the UK Youth Parliament’s manifesto, as well as being selected to be put on the ballot paper this year.

Ben,14, who attends Rainford High School, said: “I call upon all the young people to support my issue, which calls for the government to develop a new fully resourced anti-poverty strategy with a strong focus on children and young people.”

For more information, contact – St Helens Youth Service on 01744 675924.

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