- Registration now open for 11-18 year olds to vote in the election in November
- Online event to launch campaign will focus on young people’s relationship with democracy
- Invitation for young people to suggest topics to be focus of the next Youth Parliament
Your Choice – register to vote
Young people across Wales are being encouraged to get involved with their Welsh Youth Parliament by registering to vote in the 2021 Elections in November.
The registration process has opened today, Thursday 3 June, on the Welsh Youth Parliament website. It takes just 5 minutes, and registration will remain open until 12 November.
This is an opportunity for Wales’ young people, aged 11 – 18 years old, to use their voice in choosing the Members who will represent them and their area in the next Welsh Youth Parliament.
This will be the second Youth Parliament, made up of 60 young people in Wales to represent different areas and backgrounds. By meeting regularly, consulting with young people and conducting inquiries, they discuss the issues that matter most to young people in order to bring their views to the attention of the elected politicians of the Welsh Parliament.
The online election in November will choose 40 Members to represent all regions of Wales, the other 20 Members will be put forward by partner organisations to ensure a diverse representation.
The application process for interested partner organisations is also now open. Organisations and charities are invited to apply to work with the Youth Parliament and to have a representative among the 60 Members.
Your Voice – event to discuss young people and democracy
Talulah Thomas and Cai Thomas Phillips, former members of the Welsh Youth Parliament, will host an online panel discussion to mark the opening of voter registration which coincides with the Urdd’s Eisteddfod T.
The panel session at 5.00 on Thursday 3 June, will focus on the importance of young people’s relationship with democracy. A month since 16 and 17 year olds were able to vote in the Senedd 2021 Election for the first time, getting involved with the Welsh Youth Parliament is one way young people can make sure their voices continue to be heard.
Talulah Thomas, former Member for Clwyd South, says;
“Be part of a Youth Parliament which gives us a voice on the issues that matter now and in our future. Register now to be able to vote in the Election, send in your ideas for topics and I also encourage you to consider standing to be a Member too when the opportunity comes. Go for it - be part of something great!”
Talulah and Cai will be joined on the panel by Tom Rhydderch from the 5M Cymru youth voter campaign, Aleena Khan who contributes regularly on TV and radio on social and cultural issues, and Lleucu Non a writer for the young women’s magazine Lysh Cymru. The event is chaired by ITV Wales journalist Sion Jenkins who will put forward questions on behalf of registered viewers.
The event is free with registration via Eventbrite. English translation option is available.
Your Future – the issues that matter
With the opening of voter registration, young people are also asked to put forward their suggestions for topics they would like to be prioritised by the next Youth Parliament. A form is available online for young people to contribute to the conversation and highlight the issues that matter most to them and their communities.
Last time, the Youth Parliament chose to prioritise three topics: Mental Health, Life Skills in the Curriculum, and Littering and Plastic Waste, holding inquiries and publishing reports to present to the Welsh Government.
Cai Thomas Phillips, former Member for West Carmarthen and South Pembrokeshire says;
"Young people's voices need to be at the heart of important decisions as we emerge from the pandemic; a better way of working, economic recovery after COVID and tackling environmental degradation. I really hope the next Youth Parliament will take the a chance to look at these issues and much more. It's an amazing opportunity for anyone to give new ideas and opinions to the decision makers."
“Your voice is powerful and your views are important to us all”
Llywydd of the Senedd, Elin Jones MS encourages Wales’ young voices to get involved in their Welsh Youth Parliament;
“The first Welsh Youth Parliament showed us how passionate young people are about the issues which matter to them and their communities. Their voices need to be heard now more than ever.
“I encourage young people across Wales to get involved, to register to vote and be part of the conversation about the topics that should be prioritised by the next Youth Parliament. Your voice is powerful and your views are important to us all.”
More information about registration, topics and how to be part of the Welsh Youth Parliament are available on the website.