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Young people invited to stand as Hampshire’s next Members of the UK Youth Parliament

Bethan Hoggan, MYP for North-east Hampshire

Do you know a budding politician? Perhaps your daughter or son speaks like a future Prime Minister, your young neighbour is passionate about the environment, or you know anyone between the ages of 11 and 18 who would like to make their voices heard to a wider audience. These young people could be future Hampshire Members of the UK Youth Parliament (MYP), which is currently seeking nominations for the next two-year term of office.

Councillor Roz Chadd, Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, said: “Hampshire County Council recognises that young people’s views are a crucial part of our planning for the future, and the Youth Parliament is an empowering platform for them to have their voice heard and valued, even taking them as far as the House of Commons itself. Our Youth Parliamentarians have a strong track record of campaigning and raising awareness about the issues that affect them the most, such as transport, work experience and voting at the age of 16. Standing as a MYP is a great opportunity for any young person who would like to participate actively in democracy, locally and beyond.”

The UK Youth Parliament enables young people aged 11 to18 across the UK to use their elected voice to bring about social change. The elections are non-party political, and candidates campaign based on issues about which they are passionate.

Hampshire MYPs are elected in youth elections, held every other year, and organised by Hampshire County Council.

Once elected, MYPs organise events and projects, run campaigns and influence decision makers on the issues which matter most to young people. Interest in the Hampshire programme is rapidly growing and there were more than 13,000 young people involved in the last campaign. All MYPs have the opportunity to meet once a year at the UK Youth Parliament Annual Sitting (COVID-19 restrictions permitting).

Nominations for the next round of elections are open now and close on 29 October, followed by elections in December.

One of Hampshire’s current MYPs, Bethan Hoggan, represents North-east Hampshire. She said: “Youth Parliament gave me opportunities that I could only have dreamt of before. I’ve become a more confident speaker and developed my organisational skills. As well as this, I’ve made connections with MPs, councillors, and ministers, as well as friends for life. All of these have meant that I am a more rounded, caring person, and I feel much more ready for the future ahead.”

Young people interested in finding out more about the Youth Parliament, and how to get involved, can:

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