Fourteen young people from across Poole have set their sights on a career in politics as they battle to be elected as the town’s next Member of Youth Parliament (MYP).
Over 25 interested young people attended open workshops over the past few months to gain a greater understanding about the role of being Poole’s MYP, and inform their decision on whether to put themselves forward as a candidate. Fourteen of those decided to stand, with candidates ranging in age from 11 to 17 and attending schools including Carter Community School, Corfe Hills, Magna Academy, Parkstone Grammar, Poole Grammar and St Edwards.
The UK Youth Parliament provides opportunities for 11-18 year olds to use their elected voice to bring about social change through meaningful representation and campaigning. Several ‘Make your Mark’ topics have been selected for debate following a poll of over 970,000 young people – in Poole these include a ‘curriculum for life’, mental health, transport, stopping cuts that affect the NHS and allowing voting at 16.
In addition to debating the chosen ‘Make your Mark’ topics, each candidate is also able to choose their own personal campaigns to focus on. Candidates had the chance to introduce themselves and their chosen platform during a hustings event held at Poole’s Civic Centre this week, attended by the Mayor of Poole and other elected members.
The 14 candidates and their chosen campaign topics are:
- Fedor Panteleev – School holidays
- Charli Home - Lowering university tuition fees
- Beth Baxter – Eating disorder awareness
- Saskia Matko – Youth voice
- James Wood - Children under the age of 16 should be able to play any sport that they believe that they should want to
- Emily O’Brien - University tuition fees
- Lowri Bradley – Youth voice
- Carlie Avery-Carter – A safe space for young people to hang out in
- Emily Simes – First aid
- Max Pearson-Smith - Fairer school funding and giving you power where decisions are made
- Melodey West-Webbe – Bullying
- Ella Jordan - Limit the amount of homework students receive
- Sam Cole - LGBT+ awareness, we all deserve equal decisions
- Aanya Aggarwal – Body image
The Mayor of Poole Cllr Xena Dion, who acted as co-chair at the hustings event, said: “It was wonderful to see the passion of Poole’s prospective youth parliament members at the hustings event and I was moved by the depth of feeling and articulation with which the young people presented the subject matter for their campaign. Their points will hopefully be heeded by the people who influence the school curriculum and who work with children and young people, especially where mental health is concerned. I wish the candidates every success in their campaigns and look forward to seeing who will be selected as our new MYP.”
If you are aged 11–18 years old, and either live or go to school in Poole then you too can vote in the election. Students in Poole schools can obtain a voting code from their school. If you don’t attend school in Poole and want to vote then please email firstname.lastname@example.org to get your unique voting code. You will need to provide your name, date of birth, school and postcode.
Voting is open from 6 - 24 February and the results will be announced on the 28 February.
Find out more about UK Youth Parliament in Poole