Students at 39 schools across Dorset have been voting this week to elect two members of the UK Youth Parliament.
Twelve candidates are standing on issues ranging from protecting youth services in Dorset, to work opportunities for young people, to raising the awareness of mental health issues in young people.
Ferndown Upper School students voted today (Thursday) under the watchful eye of 13 year-old Grace Hill, the school’s candidate.
Year 9 student Grace’s manifesto is to raise awareness of the effects of negative stereotyping and peer pressure, backing a ‘say something positive’ campaign.
Showing their support for the election, East Dorset District Council vice-chairman Cllr David Shortell and the Mayor of Verwood Cllr Sandra Grove, visited Ferndown Upper to talk to students.
Cllr Shortell said: “It’s great to see young people involved on politics and showing an interest in elections and democracy will benefit the country as a whole.”
Grace spoke to students across the area at 11 assemblies to get her message across, addressing up to 400 of her peers at a time.
The UK Youth Parliament has 600 elected MYPs (Members of Youth Parliament) aged 11-18. In the past two years one million young people have voted in UK Youth Parliament elections.
It enables young people to use their energy and passion to change the world for the better. Run by young people for young people, UKYP provides opportunities for 11-18 year-olds to use their voice in creative ways to bring about social change.
The Dorset results will be announced on 25 February at county hall in Dorchester. Two deputy MYPs are also elected.