The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Chance for Norwich young people to get voices heard 

A representative from UK Parliament, Sky Yarlett, visited YMCA Norfolk’s young people at Norwich Central on August 20 to discuss how they can get their voice heard on the topics that matter the most to them. Harriet King reports.

The UK Parliament Education and Engagement workshop was open to all YMCA Norfolk young people who wanted to learn more about politics;  both on a national and local level.  
Sky spoke to the young people about the structure of the UK government, voting, the role of public services and how they can influence their local MPS to take action. Further topics included access to universal credit, tax, foreign aid and how Norwich and our local services can support young people. 
Sarah Caston, YMCA Central Housing Manager, said: “It was great to see some of our people so engaged in the political causes that really matter to them. I was really impressed with how well they contributed to the workshop and how respectful they were of one another’s views.
“Thanks so much to Sky who done a fantastic job at delivering the workshop – I’d highly recommend the session to other youth charities!”
Residents also took part in writing to your MP and campaigner skills activities, introducing them to different ways they can personally take part in the important conversations happening in Parliament every day. 
As a group, they practiced writing postcards to local MPs and representatives about topics such as flaws in the benefit system and creating more opportunities for young people to find meaningful, skills-enhancing employment in Norfolk. 
Young person Kayleigh Smart, who attended the workshop, said: “The workshop was really helpful. I learnt lots about topics I didn’t know about – such as Brexit and the roles of different MPs.
“It was also a great platform to talk about how we can stop judgement towards deprived young people and families. I’m so glad I came – I’ve learnt so much!”
YMCA Norfolk runs a variety of positive activities and events for young people throughout the year, from support and advice sessions to community engagement and youth provision.

Find out more about UK Parliament’s Education and Engagement workshops here.

Pictured above is Sky Yarlett with young people at the Parliamentary workshop at Norwich Central YMCA.

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