Children in Doncaster given the chance to vote in Youth Parliament campaign
Young children in Doncaster have been casting their votes on issues that they feel are important to them as part of UK Youth Parliament’s Make Your Mark campaign.
Although UK-wide participation in Make Your Mark saw a drop this year, Doncaster participation increased with more local young people than ever before keen to have their say.
Over 18,000 young people borough-wide took part in the youth Make Your Mark and Junior Make Your Mark ballots combined.
This year saw the borough’s first Junior Make Your Mark campaign and Doncaster Council is the first local authority in the UK to take the initiative to run a junior campaign for students aged 4 to 11 that mirrors the national youth Make your Mark campaign.
Councillor Nuala Fennelly, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “We are very proud of our young people, they have so much to contribute to the borough and we’re keen to hear their thoughts on the issues that are important to them.”
She added: “Junior Make Your Mark supports our commitment to be the most child friendly borough in the country, It is an opportunity for our children and young people to see that they can help make a difference and play their part in building a brighter future.”
Both votes give young people an opportunity to experience the mechanics of democratic voting and the conversation around their big ticket topics.
Around 50 primary schools took part in Junior Make Your Mark and children could also vote in local libraries.
In total, over 5,000 primary aged children had their say on a number of important issues.
The six topics for Junior Make Your Mark were chosen by children at the Children and Families Forum in July and they included: making the environment better, stopping anti-social behaviour, having more clubs/activities for children across the borough, helping children to be safe online, making roads near schools safer, learning life skills to help children when they’re older.
Improving the environment came out top with 1,205 primary school children votes and reducing anti-social behaviour and having more clubs/activities were in the top three.