Seven students passionate about their community from across the borough put their names forward to be part of the UK Youth Parliament. Our very own Tom Cleasby, 12, was chosen as Deputy Member after election day on 22nd February, and we couldn’t be more proud!
On 20th January we had a visit from Helen Stanforth, Engagement & Participation Officer for the local council. Students who were interested completed an application, and were then asked to write a mini manifesto of what they would like to see changed in the North East and why they should be considered the ideal candidate for the Youth Parliament.
Year 10 student, Joe, also campaigned for votes to become either Member of Youth Parliament (MYP) or Deputy Member of Youth Parliament (DMYP) for a two-year term, alongside those from a number of other local secondary schools such as Freebrough and Laurence Jackson. Joe had campaigned strongly since the moment his nomination was confirmed but only just missed out. As part of the campaign, he said “I try my hardest at work and I’m not afraid to speak on behalf of what’s right. I will try and listen as soon as possible and act as quick as possible.” Well done Joe!
Tom said “I wanted the opportunity to improve Redcar & Cleveland for young people and make the place where we live somewhere that caters for the needs of the youth. Our environment is important and we can work together to create a vibrant, safe and inclusive area.”
More than 4,000 students cast their ballots in the election as six secondary schools agreed to take part on polling day. Our 5 form groups all voted in form time, and every school could vote for each other, under the strictest of conditions just like a real election, including boxes and papers locked until counting.
The new MYP will be responsible for finding out the concerns of other young people in Redcar & Cleveland and represent these views to key decision makers on a local and national level, and with the support of Tom as Deputy. Laurence Jackson student, Kellen Hadfield, was elected.
The actual count took place on 23rd February at the 25K Youth Centre in Redcar, and we were thrilled to find out that Tom had been elected as DMYP, receiving more than 500 votes.
This is an AMAZING opportunity for Tom to work with other young people across the borough and represent their views. As part of the Youth Parliament team, Tom can also look forward to an opportunity to attend the annual debate at the House of Commons, chaired by the Speaker of the House the Right Honourable John Bercow MP, to decide on which issues will become the most important campaigns for the year ahead. Tom will also meet local MP Anna Turley this month to discuss his new role.