- Welsh Youth Parliament Members asking questions to the First Minister on behalf of young people in Wales
- Daily challenges to celebrate nature, upcycling old household items and try out yoga and mindfulness
- What’s on your mind? – Discussion on how to improve emotional and mental health support
Welsh Youth Parliament Members will be raising the concerns of young people in Wales with the First Minister, Mark Drakeford MS, as part of a series of events in Welsh Youth Parliament Week throughout the last school week of term, 13-17 July.
Questions will range from what the Welsh Government is doing to help children and young people during and after the pandemic to mental health support.
Schools and colleges across Wales will take part in daily challenges including photographing the natural beauty of their local areas, finding new uses for old plastic, upcycling unwanted clothes and giving yoga and mindfulness a try.
There will also be a series of debates and discussions on the Welsh Youth Parliament’s key priorities; the environment and plastic pollution, and emotional and mental health support.
Sessions will be held via video conference and Welsh Youth Parliament members will be sharing videos discussing different ideas and encouraging people to take part on social media throughout the week.
Take part and make your voice heard
Arianwen Fox-James, Welsh Youth Parliament Member for Brecon and Radnorshire, encourages young people to take part;
“With everything going on at the moment, I think taking part in the Welsh Youth Parliament Week would help to bring you closer to others, and to connect with your WYP Member. I promise we’re not as boring as we sound! You might find out something new and interesting about mental health or about plastic waste and littering. When we had our events cancelled due to Coronavirus, I was really sad about not being able to connect with constituents the way I usually would. That is why I’m so excited that we've been able to plan something this great for you. We all as Youth Parliament Members have been struggling like everyone else through this time and we ultimately want to connect and share with others the things we’re passionate about.”
According to Ffion Griffith, the Member for Islwyn, it’s more important than ever for young people to get involved in politics;
“At a time where politics has dominated all aspects of our lives, it’s clearer than ever that young people need to be involved in politics. Whether you’re already aware of politics or completely unsure about what is going on, Welsh Youth Parliament Week is an incredible opportunity for you to play a part in the decisions that are made on your behalf – specifically on matters relating to mental health, littering and plastic waste, and life skills in the curriculum which impact all of us as young people. Take part in the workshops and act now to secure your voice, your choices and your future.”
The Llywydd of the Senedd, Elin Jones MS, will be chairing the discussion session with the First Minister on Tuesday 14 July.
“I am pleased the Welsh Youth Parliament will be holding these sessions throughout the week. It is so important to hear the voices of children and young people whose lives are being impacted in many ways by the current crisis, from mental health to education and more,” said Elin Jones MS, Llywydd of the Senedd.
“It is an exciting programme of events, including a session with the First Minister in discussion with Members of the Youth Parliament. This will be the second session of its kind and I’m looking forward to chairing what I’m sure will be as interesting and engaging a meeting as the first.
“The topics of discussion this week go to the heart of what Wales’s young people want their country to look like in future. It belongs to them, so it is vital they have a say.”
Daily sessions and challenges
The events will begin on Monday, 13 July with a photography challenge, launch video and interactive session on littering and plastic waste.
Welsh Youth Parliament Members will meet with the First Minister, Mark Drakeford MS, on Tuesday, 14 July at 13.00.
There will be further challenges and sessions each day until Friday, 17 July as well as a series of spotlight videos from stakeholder organisations including:
- SeaQuest – a coastal science and discovery organisation based in Porthcawl
- Surfers Against Sewage – a grassroots movement tackling plastic pollution
- Platfform – mental health charity
- Mind Cymru – mental health charity
- PAPYRUS - charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide.
- Meic Cymru - Information, advice and advocacy helpline for children and young people in Wales.