Young people urged to join Central Bedfordshire’s Youth Parliament as nominations open

The scheme has been going for 15 years
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Central Bedfordshire Council opened nominations for its Youth Parliament elections this week and is inviting young people living or going to school in Central Bedfordshire to stand for election.

The Youth Parliament has been working in the community for the past 15 years to provide a voice for young people, and to make a positive difference by campaigning for issues that affect them. It has designed training for teachers around various issues, raised money for charity and instigated a work experience programme at Central Bedfordshire Council.

Members also work with the UK Youth Parliament, with local representatives joining the annual debate and sitting on the green benches in the House of Commons to debate issues affecting young people.

Sign up for the borough's youth parliamentSign up for the borough's youth parliament
Sign up for the borough's youth parliament

Valentina, a previous chairperson, said: “It was honestly one of the greatest experiences of my young life. It motivated me to go into politics and to study politics at university. You have the opportunity to make a difference and to make a great change within the community, and to have your voice heard.”

And Emily, a previous member of Youth Parliament, said: “You should definitely [join the Youth Parliament]! Because it’s one of the best opportunities I’ve had so far, and it’s definitely worth it because you get to meet new people, make new friends, and you achieve so much!”

Cllr Hayley Whitaker, executive member for families, education and children, said: “The Youth Parliament ensures that young people can make their voices heard, and having this representation for other young people across the area is really important. Joining the Youth Parliament is a brilliant opportunity to take part in unique events and gain skills for your CV. I’d encourage parents and carers to tell young people about this fantastic opportunity.”

To be elected, young people will need to complete an online application form. The Central Bedfordshire Youth Voice Team can also provide support; to contact them email [email protected].

The closing date is December 3. Each school has two positions available, and anyone who applies must be willing to campaign alongside other students in their school for one of the two positions.