• Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

politics largeYoung people across the city have voted on who will represent Sunderland at the UK Youth Parliament for the next two years.

Every school and youth project is invited to vote in the bi-annual elections, with all those aged between eleven and 18 given the opportunity to choose two Members of Youth Parliament (MYP) to represent their view on the national political stage along with two Deputy MYPs (DYMP).

Some of the 17 candidates in this year’s elections gathered at Sunderland City Council’s civic centre to hear this year’s results.

After the ballot papers were counted, the Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Alan Emerson announced the names of Sunderland’s MYPs and Deputy MYPs to represent the city at the UK Youth Parliament for the next two years.

Sunderland’s two MYPs for 2016-18 are Thomas Crawford and Rachel Krajovska  who will be supported throughout their term in office by  Deputy MYPs Victoria Farquhar and Lesedi Mphisa.

The Mayor of Sunderland, Cllr Alan Emerson said: “The young people of our city have a massive part to play in shaping the future of their communities and of our country.

“As Mayor of Sunderland I was delighted to announce the names of those they have voted to present their views in the UK Youth Parliament, and I’m sure Sunderland’s MYPs and their Deputies will do our city proud over the next two years.

“We value the contribution made by every young person in Sunderland to life in our city, and support them wherever we can to share their views on the local and national political stage on the issues which concern them.”

Thomas, 17, from Hastings Hill who attends St Aidan’s Catholic Academy said: ”After attending a Young People’s State of the City Debate I joined Sunderland Youth Parliament in February last year, and have developed my interest and involvement with youth politics from there.

“I want to make sure that the voices of young people are heard and play a part in the local decision making  process, and will continue to campaign on issues such as racial and religious discrimination.”

Rachel, 16, a pupil at St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy who lives in Grangetown said: “I am thrilled and slightly overwhelmed to be elected, but determined to do my best for all young people in the city.

“I want to get the message out that there is a whole wide world outside of school in Sunderland so get involved.”

Deputy MYP Lesedi Mphisa, 16, from Pennywell who attends Thornhill School Business and Enterprise Centre added: “I am very excited and anxious to serve to the best of my abilities, this is a fantastic opportunity for all of us who have been elected.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting new people and thrilled about the opportunity of bringing issues like discrimination out into the open, so they can be understood and debated properly.”

The UK Youth Parliament meets regularly to debate issues affecting young people’s lives, with representatives from every city and region in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland taking part.

The youth parliament receives cross-party support, and was the first organisation outside of Westminster to be invited into the House of Commons to hold a debate in the chamber, following the success of a previous debate in the House of Lords.

The voting is organised by the Participation and Engagement Team at Sunderland City Council using a traditional ballot paper and the ballot boxes in schools and youth projects across the city.

During their term of office Sunderland’s outgoing MYPs Luwam Habte, 18, and Brian Terry, 17, along with their Deputy Eleanor Blyth, have taken part in number of high profile events and debates.

They have represented Sunderland at the UK Youth Parliament including the annual debate in the House of Commons, and at British Youth Council (BYC) Conventions and the BYC Annual Sitting in Exeter.

Luwam 18, from Washington and a pupil at St Robert of Newminster School said: “Being an MYP for Sunderland was an amazing experience, representing our city at local, regional, national and even European meetings.

“The House of Commons was unforgettable, and I also visited the European Parliament campaigning for Barnardo’s with some of the proposals we made there raised later at Westminster.

“It was a great opportunity for me personally which help toward my future, and I wish our new MYPs for Sunderland the best of luck.”

MYPs and DMYPs are also involved with the Sunderland Youth Parliament which meets weekly at Sunderland City Council’s Civic Centre,  to give young people 11-19 the chance to debate the issues affecting them and get involved in decision making.

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