Molly to Enter Parliament

UK Youth Parliament provides opportunities for 11-18 year olds to use their elected voice to bring about social change through meaningful representation and campaigning.
Year 10 student Molly Richardson has been elected as the Central Yorkshire representative in the National Youth Parliament. To gain this honour there was a large selection process. Firstly Molly had to apply and become a member of the Youth Voice Executive before filling out an application form for the Youth Parliament. The entries were then shortlisted down, to just 3 applicants, who were required to make a speech addressing an assembly of around 40 selected young people from both the Youth Parliament and the Youth Voice executive. Molly’s speech centred on, a changed societal ethos, and giving the vote to 16 year olds. The young people were then required to fill out a ballot paper voting diplomatically for the candidate they felt would best represent them.
Molly will be in the role for 2 years and has major responsibilities. These will include attending national conferences and assemblies including young people, CEOs of companies, heads of Russell Group Universities and major politicians. In November she will be speaking at the House of Commons to promote the importance of an issue decided in the upcoming Youth Parliament debates which will include 360 young people from around Great Britain and politicians including the Head of Education and Leader of the Opposition.
The idea for a UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) originated from young people themselves. The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) sponsored the development of the proposal and a Steering Committee, led by Andrew Rowe (the then MP for Faversham and Mid-Kent) and chaired by James Moody, a young person, operated between October 1998 and December 2000, to oversee the establishment of the organisation and the first sitting.
UKYP aims to give the young people of the UK between the ages of 11 and 18 a voice, which will be heard and listened to by local, regional and national government, providers of services for young people and other agencies who have an interest in the views and needs of young people.
Members of UKYP come together annually to take part in workshops, debate, create and change national manifesto policy, and network. It takes place on a university campus over three days. The event includes keynote speeches from political figures, followed by question and answer sessions. Past speakers have included:
John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons
Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury (2000–2002)
Iby Knell, A Holocaust Survivor
Tim Loughton, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Children & Families (2010-2012)
Each Region and Nation elect a Debate Lead and a reserve to represent their area. Debate Leads shape each of the proposed campaigns by providing speeches for, against and a Summation at the House of Commons.
Members annually debate in the House of Commons chamber, chaired by the Speaker of the House Of Commons RT Hon John Bercow MP. They debate five issues chosen by a ballot of young people from across the UK and then vote to decide which two issues should become the UK Youth Parliament’s priority campaigns for the year ahead.
Members, including Molly will sit in the House of Commons for the eleventh time in November 2019.
Make your mark is organised every year by the Youth Parliament and is something Molly will also be heavily involved in. It is a nationwide campaign that last year had 1.1 million young people taking part across the country. It gives people the opportunity to vote for which issues they wish to be brought to parliament and debated. In the link below you can see the main priorities for this year. Last year one of the most voted for issues was ‘An End to Knife Crime’ and this meant frequent meetings with the Heads of Police around the country. Molly will also be debating with local MPs such as Nigel Adams, Alec Shelbrooke, Fabian Hamilton and Richard Burgon about the issues elected.

Make Your Mark link>>