Future Voices: Campaigning to make a difference

Young people can lobby their MP about issues they care about. Photo: PA Wire

Young people can lobby their MP about issues they care about. Photo: PA Wire - Credit: PA

There are many political pathways young people can choose to tell the government about our hopes, desires and the changes to youth services we want. I encourage young people to try out some of these.

By joining a local political party, young people can become involved in campaigning for desired changes in their services; whether it is proposing them in a local meeting, marching in the capital or lobbying their local MP in Parliament. All of these activities enhance transferable public speaking skills and develop self-identity.

Writing to a local MP about issues which really matter to us enhances the skills you need to construct an effective argument and can encourage the MP to really get behind a change, meaning that they could reach a national level and be raised during talks in the House of Commons.

Change.org is a popular website where people can create or sign petitions on problems which they are passionate about, such as saving youth channel BBC Three from the axe, imploring the government to help refugees or campaigning for better mental health services.

Social media is fast becoming a platform for successful campaigns, especially for teenagers as they are prolific users. Getting local friends and family involved in protesting for change makes the cause stronger in an area and more likely to succeed.

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The excitement stirred-up during the general election this year reminded young people that their voice is just as important as anyone else's.

We are becoming more aware of our rights, and to both local and national social issues.

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Young people consider that many of the services we use are in need of improvement. By acting politically, we can get the changes we want sooner.

Charlotte Wilson, 17, King's Lynn

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