Newly-elected members of the West Sussex Youth Cabinet and UK Youth Parliament have come together for the first time at a training weekend at Lodge Hill Activity Centre, near Pulborough.
40 of the 44 West Sussex Youth Cabinet Members, Members of Youth Parliament and Deputy Members of Youth Parliament took part in numerous workshops focusing on social media, representation, public speaking and communications skills.
The Youth Cabinet is an elected group of young people aged 11-19, who represent their peers and give a voice on issues affecting their lives by talking with decision and policy makers to ensure young peoples’ views are listened to and acted upon.
The UK Youth Parliament is a national group of elected young people that provide opportunities for 11-18 year-olds to use their voice in creative ways to bring about social change on a national level.
Sebastian Maxted, aged 14 and attendee at Angmering School, as well as the Deputy Member of UK Youth Parliament for East Arun, Adur & Worthing, said: “The weekend was a great opportunity to meet a broad range of people, each differing in their views, to come together and build on each other.
“I really learnt how different people think and work in a team and I think this is the most important thing I have come away with is how we can all contribute effectively together as a group.
“A very interesting part of the weekend was learning about our constituency and its demographics, I think this will allow us to represent and work with our constituents in the most effective, progressive and caring way possible.”
With over 23,000 votes, the 2015 West Sussex Youth Cabinet & UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) elections proved to be most successful to date.
Peter Evans, County Council Cabinet Member for Children – Start of Life, said: “It’s important that young people in West Sussex have a voice and the UK Youth Parliament, together with our West Sussex Youth Cabinet, are significant to ensuring they are heard.”
More information can be obtained from the Voice & Engagement Team, part of the Young People’s Service at West Sussex County Council, by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.