Local young people visit House of Commons to debate issues important to them

28 November 2017

Members of the Cheshire West and Chester Council Youth Senate visited the House of Commons last week to debate the top issues raised by young people in the national annual Make Your Mark ballot.

Jessica Leigh from Wincham, Northwich and Charlie West from Winsford, both 16, travelled to London to take part in the parliamentary debate.

Councillor Meardon, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for our young people. To be able to take part in a debate in the House of Commons is amazing. Our Youth Senate members are truly inspiring and this experience is invaluable. ”

The Youth Senate worked in partnership with The British Youth Council earlier this year to encourage young people, aged between 11 and 18, to take part in the ballot.

Helen Brackenbury, Director of Early Help and Prevention said: “We are very proud of Jessica and Charlie and all our young people involved with the Youth Senate. This year we had our largest ever turn out for the Make Your Mark ballot with 7323 people submitting a vote. It’s really important to hear the voices of local young people so we can work with organisations to make change.”

The top three issues for young people in West Cheshire are:
  • Mental health (1089 votes)
  • Transport (1037 votes)
  • Curriculum to prepare us for life (933 votes)
The Youth Senate has written to all schools and youth provisions in the borough to share their individual results to make them aware of the issues important to the young people they work with. Members of the Senate will work with Cheshire West and Chester Council Youth Service to visit youth clubs across the borough. They will talk about the issues in more depth and offer good practice guidance about managing emotional health and wellbeing support to young people. They will also follow up with schools and youth provisions in six months’ time to hear what they have done with the information.

Poem written by Jessica Leigh. Jess captured her experience and thoughts about the day on the train on the way home from London.

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