Dynamic teenagers from the Colne Valley have launched a campaign to get more young people’s voices heard by politicians.
The group of 11 14 to 16-year-olds from the Basement Youth Club in Slaithwaite created the ‘Make it Happen’ project to give teenagers in the area more democratic clout over issues that affect them.
They decided to set up a weekly public forum in which they could debate and discuss concerns such as youth unemployment and local youth services and work together to push for changes through the local council and MPs.
Made up of residents from the Colne and Holme Valleys, they hope that it will complement the Kirklees Youth Council but say it is a more locally based platform and is aimed at making politics more accessible to people in the area.
One of the members, Jenny Goldman, 16, said that the project was originally formed to create ideas to share with Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney when he asked them to visit him in Parliament but they decided to keep it going after becoming inspired.
Jenny, of Lane Ings in Marsden, said :”After the trip to London we decided we wanted to continue our work due to the amount of ideas that we realised we had so we created the weekly forum.
“This is a platform for people our age to say what they think and it’s a great opportunity for everyone to share and form thoughts and decide what changes we want to see in a supportive atmosphere.
“Young people’s views are important as there are a lot of us about but we thought that we needed more space for the average person to get their views across and encourage more people into politics.
“I think as a young person sometimes all you feel you can do is write to your MP but we want to change that by working together.
“There are lots of issues that we are discussing at the moment, including job opportunities and getting more youth services in Marsden on top of those in Slaithwaite because these can be tricky for some young people to get to.”
Anyone from 13 to 19-years old is welcome to join the Make it Happen project, which runs every Wednesday from 6.30 to 8.30pm in Slaithwaite Town Hall Basement in Cross Street.
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