The hunt is on for young people who are really passionate about issues their peers face and who want to make a difference locally and nationally by becoming a Member of Youth Parliament (MYP).
This year is the first year that the borough of Rochdale is eligible for 2 MYP roles – one each for the Rochdale, and Heywood and Middleton parliamentary constituency areas.
Being an MYP involves speaking on behalf of the youth cabinet, working alongside the borough's children's champion to improve the lives of children and young people, attending meetings, participating in Youthforia – the regional youth forum for the North West, and having enthusiasm, energy and interest in the rights of children and young people.
'I hope we see lots of applications, I know that we have really engaged young people who are interested in making a difference'
Councillor Rachel Massey, cabinet member for children's services and education at Rochdale Borough Council, said: "I hope we see lots of applications, I know that we have really engaged young people who are interested in making a difference, being the borough's member of youth parliament enables you to do this on a local and national stage. It is an amazing thing to be a part of, so, if you are interested, or know a young person who is, then apply today."
Deadline for applications is Tuesday, 30 November 2021. Young people aged between 11 and 17 who live in the borough can either complete an application form or submit a one-minute video.
Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed and final candidates will campaign on their manifesto pledges in schools before children and young people vote in the new year.
'I've loved my term and I'm really proud of everything I have been involved in'
Last year 9,530 votes were cast in the election won by Adam Rennie. He said: "I've loved my term and I'm really proud of everything I have been involved in. It's been an unusual and challenging time to be in this role with the pandemic but I've still managed to get my teeth into key issues. I've played a pivotal part in launching student relationship champions and I've made significant progress in improving mental health services and awareness of them with young people. I have also done research and gained fruitful information into local transport issues to feed back what improvements needs to be made, especially in Heywood and Middleton.
The Deputy MYP position is also up for grabs and will play a vital role in supporting the MYP during their term.
'Take the time to apply and you won't regret it'
Last year Ismail Malik was elected as deputy MYP and he's encouraging young people across the borough to apply: "I've really enjoyed my year as deputy, being part of this is a really special opportunity for any young person. Take the time to apply and you won't regret it. You'll meet new people, get the opportunity to champion young people and learn new skills that will be with you for life."
The MYP role is supported by the UK Youth Parliament who aim to give the young people of the UK between the ages of 11 and 19 a voice. This voice will be heard and listened to by local and national government, providers of services for young people and other agencies that have an interest in the views and needs of young people.
UK Youth Parliament is an independent national charity that has a rolling programme of activities across the year. This includes an annual sitting, regional meetings, and regular dialogue with Ministers including the Prime Minister and opposition spokespeople with inputs to policy and programme development.