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how can young people engage more with politics?

Updated: Apr 29

It can be easy if you're under 18 to think that you can't influence politics and decisions being made on behalf of our society. However, there are ways in which young people can get involved in politics and make their voices heard.

West Sussex Youth Cabinet and YKYP

In West Sussex, there is a Youth Cabinet with 45 members who represent the views of young people across West Sussex. There is also a national UK Youth Parliament, which includes 364 members from across the UK who attend events at the House of Commons and provide opportunities for young people to vote on key issues in their #makeyourmark campaign.

The Make Your Mark information from the UKYP website

The following is an excerpt from West Sussex County Council's website about their Youth Cabinet and UKYP members and what they have been up to in recent years.

The Youth Cabinet and UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) members are young people aged 11 to 18, elected to represent the views of young people in West Sussex. UKYP members also represent views nationally, attending an annual debate in the House of Commons in London.

Members attend events informing them about important social and political issues. They gather the views of other young people using online surveys, and campaign for changes by producing films, blogs and other media.

Recent projects and campaigns that the groups have worked on include:

  • recycling, concessionary travel and university fees (national campaigns)

  • radicalism and extremism

  • Curriculum for Life: First aid in schools

  • Takeover Challenge Day

  • Make your Mark - a worldwide youth consultation, including Tackling Knife Crime and Votes at 16 campaigns

  • Sussex Police Independent Advisory Group - a UKYP member currently attends a quarterly group meeting at Sussex Police to provide a young person’s perspective on topics being discussed

  • Young Carers awareness campaign.

Visit their website to find out more about how you can get involved in West Sussex or take a look at your local authority/council website to find out if they have a youth cabinet or contact the UKYP for guidance on local options.

My Life My Say

My Life My Say is a youth-led, non-partisan charity on a mission to empower young people to engage in Democracy. They run lots of national events so take a look at their website to see how you can get involved.

Last Wednesday they held a Quarantine Question Time hosted by Kiss FM radio presenter, Swarzy Macaly, where young people had the opportunity to ask questions about the current pandemic and #quarantineQT.

This will be a weekly event so check out their instagram page for details @mylifemysay or click here to register for the event on their website.

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