WoW! The figures are in and (somewhat belatedly) I am amazed that against a backdrop of restructuing the Youth Voice & Engagement team have managed to encourage and support a record number of young people to participate in the West Sussex Youth Cabinet & UK Youth Parliment elections.
It’s the 11th year elections have been held and they have grown more sophisticated over time with an electronic voting system now in place. However we have mixed and matched this with the more traditional system of ballot papers to ensure everyone can participate. A total of 20,088 young people voted casting a total of 39,163 in both elections, meaning that 23 percent of young people in West Sussex aged between 11 and 19-years-old took part in the democratic process – an amazing accomplishment.
Candidates included young parents, young carers, and young people with multiple needs as the team worked to ensure that as many young people were engaged in the process as possible. There were also some polling stations in foyers, youth centres and mobile provisions.
Almost all the young people voted on to the Youth Cabinet were new to the role and a weekend residential (more later) was planned to start inducting them into their roles.
So – congratulations to all involved and lets hope that this is the beginning of an amazing year for youth voice!!