Mental health was voted as the top priority for the borough’s young people as a tremendous 6712 votes were cast in this year’s ‘Make Your Mark’ event.
‘Make Your Mark’ is a national event which gives young people a say on what should be debated by the Youth Parliament on the green benches of the House of Commons. This year it saw 1.1 million young people take part, making it one of the largest youth consultations in UK history.
Rochdale Youth Cabinet drove the response locally, making sure that schools across the borough were engaged in the event. Our youth service facilitated the huge range of activity the young people got involved in to promote the event. Their efforts were rewarded with 30.62 per cent turnout, significantly higher than the 18.80 per cent national turnout.
'The passion of the young people is infectious and I know they will make great waves in tackling the issues they’ve voted on'
Councillor Kieran Heakin, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “Well done to all the youth cabinet for driving the campaign and well done to everyone who made their mark. It’s great to see so many young people engaged in democracy and having their say on important issues. The passion of the young people is infectious and I know they will make great waves in tackling the issues they’ve voted on.”
'We’re already achieving great things for young people in the borough and, with strength in numbers, together we can all achieve even more'
17 year old Member of Youth Parliament for Rochdale, Louis Tweedale, who attends Rochdale Sixth Form College, led the campaign in Rochdale and said; “This has been fantastic to be part of and I’m really proud of all the young people who made their mark and got their voices heard. We’re already achieving great things for young people in the borough and, with strength in numbers, together we can all achieve even more.”
Rochdale voted mental health as their top priority. Here are the top 5 priorities:
- Mental health
- Put an end to knife crime
- Equal pay for equal work
- Let’s tackle homelessness
- Curriculum to prepare us for life
'Securing new mental health bereavement workers to work across the borough'
The youth council has already done a vast amount on the topic of young people’s mental health with one notable achievement being securing new mental health bereavement workers to work across the borough, one of which specialises in supporting children in care. They're also currently working hard planning a week of action around mental health in December 2018 to help signpost young people on support that’s available and ways to get help.
Louis will be attending the House of Commons on Friday, 9 November 2018 when the 5 priorities will be debated by the Youth Parliament.