Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 13.15.07Young people from around the UK have been taking part in a campaign called ’Make Your Mark’, a national campaign, run by the UK Youth Parliament, to encourage young people to have their say and vote on issues that matter to them.

In Darlington’s 2189 young people (22% of the youth population), aged between 11 and 18 years voted – the highest number to date – for the following top 5 issues:

A living wage – Everyone should be able to live comfortably.  Everyone aged 16 or over should be paid at least the Living Wage of £7.85 per hour (£9.1 in London)

A curriculum to prepare us for life – Schools should cover topics including finance, sex and relationships and politics in the curriculum

Transport – Make public transport cheaper, better and accessible for all

Mental Health – Services should be improved with young people’s help and mental health.  Education should be compulsory and challenge stereotypes

Tackling racism and religious discrimination, particularly against people who are Muslim or Jewish – All young people should work together to combat racism and other forms of discrimination.  Ensure we know the dangers of such hatred.

What next?

On Friday 13 November 2015, Danny Brown, Darlington Youth MP; along with other Youth MP members of the UK Youth Parliament will debate the top five UK issues in the House of Commons.  Those issues will form part of their campaign for the next year.

Danny Brown said, “More and more young people are having their say.  This year, more than ever, have let us know what is important to them. The next step is to empower more young people to use their voice to create a bigger impact. Schools need to get behind this work and the forthcoming campaign, to ensure young people have a greater say”.

Councillor Cyndi Hughes, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young people said:  “It’s such good news that more young people are getting involved and voting on issues that matter to them.  I urge schools and colleges to get behind the campaigns and help make a difference to young people’s lives.”

For more information visit http://www.ukyouthparliament.org.uk/makeyourmark /follow @DannyBrownMYP or @AndyDBCWhittam or email andy.whittam@darlington.gov.uk