Slough Youth Parliament attend prestigious reception

Published: 26 June 2018

Slough Youth Parliament (SYP) representatives attended a reception at the Houses of Parliament for the third year running to collect an award for the Make Your Mark campaign.

The award was presented on Tuesday 12 June after SYP obtained an 80 per cent voter turnout in 2017’s Make Your Mark ballot (up 13 per cent on 2016’s turnout of 67 per cent).

Slough achieved the highest percentage turnout of young voters in the UK.

Member of Youth Parliament for Slough, Raakhi Sharma collected the award from MP for Slough Tan Dhesi.

Raakhi was joined by youth representatives Momina Naz, Ammara Zaheer and Emma Wilson, and youth worker Giovanni Ferri.

SYP representatives took the opportunity to talk with Mr Dhesi, Slough Borough Council cabinet member for children and education, Cllr Shabnum Sadiq as well as Jim McMahon MP and Wes Streeting MP.

Make Your Mark is the largest youth consultation in the UK and last autumn young people were asked to choose from 10 topics they considered important, including making public transport cheaper, developing a curriculum to prepare young people for life, votes at 16 and protecting LGBT+ people.

SYP promoted the ballot in schools and communities around the borough, resulting in the participation of more than 9,000 young people.

The results were debated by the UK Youth Parliament in the House of Commons and shared with Slough Borough Council and Mr Dhesi.

Raakhi Sharma, 16, Member of Youth Parliament for Slough, said: “Collecting the award not only made me proud, but inspired me to aim for bigger and better results in this summer’s Make Your Mark ballot, by getting all secondary schools in Slough registered to vote.”

Councillor Shabnum Sadiq, cabinet member for children and education, added: “We are delighted to see huge numbers of our young people actively involved in the democratic progress, making considered decisions about the issues that matter most to them and their peers.

“The award received by Slough Youth Parliament couldn’t be more deserved.”