Young people across Cornwall are being invited to help create a better future for themselves, their families and friends by joining Cornwall Youth Council.
Anyone between 11 and 18 can now register as a candidate in elections that are due to take place between January 29 and March 1 next year.
Cornwall Youth Council is part of Cornwall Council and exists to make sure the voices of children and young people are heard and taken seriously.
There are 12 elected seats available, and members are elected by other young people. There are also additional roles if young people do not want to be part of an election process.
Schools need to sign up to hold elections and young people and their families are being encouraged to make sure their school takes part.
To find out more about the work of the youth council, or to register as a candidate, visit the Let's Talk Cornwall website. Candidate registration is open until December 3.
This is what one young person, 15-year-old Sasha, had to say about their experience:
“Over the past year the youth council has helped me grow in so many ways. I have been involved in so many amazing opportunities, made new friends, grown in confidence and overall learnt so many new skills and things about myself.”
Cllr Barbara Ellenbroek, Cabinet Member for Children and Families at Cornwall Council, said:
“This is a fantastic opportunity for young people who are passionate about making a difference to help shape the future of Cornwall.
“So I would urge all young people to make sure their school has plans to take part in the youth council elections, and why not give some serious thought to becoming a candidate yourself?
“I’d also ask mums, dads and carers to help encourage young people who wouldn’t usually consider themselves as able to do this or might need a little encouragement and support.
“Help spread the word and check out the Let’s Talk website for more information.”
Barbara added: “I am extremely proud of the way our youth council holds this local authority to account and lets us know what we do right, what we do wrong, and what we need to be focusing on more.
“This is all part of the council’s pledge to make Cornwall a brilliant place to be a child and grow up, and we can only do that by listening to and working closely with young people themselves.”
As well as the youth council elections, schools and young people are also being asked to take part in a national vote called Make Your Mark which asks them what the most important issues are for young people in the UK.
For more information visit the British Youth Council website.
You can also find out more about children’s rights in Cornwall on the council’s dedicated web pages.
Press release issued on November 7, 2023.