Leeds Youth Voice Summit 2017

Leeds Youth Voice aim to give children and young people a voice; helping to make Leeds become a more child friendly city. They are involved in the Leeds Youth Council and the UK Youth Parliament. They share our values of Participation, Democracy and Citizenship.

Once a year they organise a Leeds Youth Voice Summit and invite secondary schools from all over Leeds to come and talk about the important issues young people face, both in Leeds and across the UK. Students from Year 8 and 9 went along to the event to have their say. 

This year the topic of choice was votes for 16 year olds. The organisers had invited a range of people to come and talk about their political experiences and journeys. 

The students heard from three members of Leeds Youth Council; the girls explained how they got involved with politics and how being a part of the programme had given them so many new opportunities. They urged the students to get involved and think about where political involvement could take them 

Minhaz Abedin is from Harehills, he is also an ex Leeds Youth Council and UK Youth Parliament member. Minhaz is now working as a UK Youth Delegate for the United Nations. He talked about how none of this would be possible had be not got involved when he was 13. 

The attendees then took part in a series of workshops where they talked about the importance of politics for young people, and the affect they can have when they get involved. The discussion ranged from votes at 16 to why old people get free bus passes. 

It was a great chance for our students to talk to other like-minded students from other schools around Leeds, and discuss the issues facing young people today. 

There was also the opportunity to talk to a panel of local Councillors about how Leeds City Council works. Unfortunately due to the upcoming general election and the Purdah period, the Councillors were not  able to talk about specific party politics, but were able to give some valuable insider information about how the council works. 

The day finished off with a tour of the Civic Hall, where the students were told all about the history of the building. It was a day full of enlightenment and mature conversation. We can't wait till next year! 

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