Young people, it’s time to speak up!

A total of 51 West Sussex young people aged 11 to 18 have put their names into the hat for this year’s Youth Cabinet and UK Youth Parliament elections and people have the chance to vote for their favourite.

Voting for the two elections, which is open until 31 March, runs side by side with separate roles up for grabs in the West Sussex Youth Cabinet and also the UK Youth Parliament.

The local Youth Cabinet is made up of candidates covering 24 areas in the county – up to two youth representatives per area – and they work together to give young people a voice.

Stephen Hillier, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “From school lessons to shaping policies, the Youth Cabinet can have a big impact on how we look at things in the county, which is why it is so important that as many people vote as possible.

“We need young people to pick the candidates that are the most representative of their own views, so they can really make a difference in the areas that matter the most.”

Projects that members of the current Youth Cabinet have been involved in include:

• Using films to get important messages heard including videos to help explain radicalisation and extremism and how people can get help
• Working with the Free Your Mind campaign group which raises awareness of mental health issues
• Working with County Councillors to help them get a better understanding of what young people need in the county and helping to shape the services available
• Running a Curriculum for Life campaign to highlight the everyday skills students should be taught at school and changing PSHE lessons in schools
• Voicing the views of the local young people in the media including radio shows and newspapers

As well as the Youth Cabinet, voting is also open to select four local representatives on to the UK Youth Parliament, which is made up of 500 young people, aged 11-18, from across the UK.

The UK Youth Parliament gives young people a voice nationally about issues that affect them. The current campaign is ‘Votes at 16’.

Candidates will represent approximately 23,000 young people and hold MYP ‘surgeries’ to listen to the views of their peers.

To see the candidates’ manifestos and to vote, please visit:

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