The Isle of Wight Youth Council, the voice of the Island’s young people inside County Hall, are searching for people aged 11 to 21 to apply to stand for the 2019 Youth Elections for Youth Council and Member of Youth Parliament.
The deadline for which applications can be sent in has been extended by a week making the new deadline Monday 25th March. If you, or someone you know, are interested in getting involved; all the details and the application pack can be found on the Youth Council’s website at www.iwight.com/youthcouncil.
Tom Jackson, the current chair of the group, said:
“We have achieved so much over the past two years and I hope that these successes can be built on when the new group is elected” he went on to add “you can achieve amazing things here if you put your mind to it and I encourage anyone interested to at least check us out, you might be pleasantly surprised.”
The Youth Council, a non-partisan group, are elected every 2 years and come together each month to talk about Youth Issues and make steps to improve opportunities for the Young People of the Island. They have worked with teams from across County Hall and outside organisations such as the Hampshire and IOW Police Youth Commission and the IOW Youth Trust.
Their most recent achievement has been the creation of the “YoVA” Award (Youth Voice Award) which aims to highlight outstanding Youth Voice provision in schools. The first awards were handed out in January to Cowes Enterprise College and Ryde Academy. The scheme has attracted attention from many councillors at County Hall including Cllr Dave Stewart, Cllr Paul Brading and Cllr Lora Peacy-Wilcox.
Island MP Bob Seely met with the Youth Council in February and it is hoped that meetings with him will become a regular fixture in the Youth Council calendar. He said:
“This is an important body that is listened to and has influence so if you think you have something to say to the Isle of Wight Council about the opportunities for young people on the Island then please apply”.
As well as the Youth Council, applications are also open for the Isle of Wight ‘Member of Youth Parliament’ (MYP). The MYP represents the Island nationally at the UK Youth Parliament that meet annually in the House of Commons.
Former Island Youth MP (2017-18) Joe Davies said this to anyone thinking of applying:
“I’m so glad that I gave Youth Parliament a go. I really didn’t know much about it but thought it was worth a shot and I’m so happy that I did! I will always appreciate the opportunities that it gave me – from having a voice about local issues that matter to me, to talking to councillors and meeting MYPs across the country. I cannot recommend it enough. If you aren’t sure, my advice will be throw your hat into the ring – you’ve got no idea where it might take you!”
The Youth Council are running a drop in Q&A session at Ryde Library on Tuesday 19th March from 16:30 to 17:30. This is a great opportunity to learn from Youth Councillors, first hand, what it’s like to be on the Youth Council, what the role involves and a great chance to ask any questions you may have.