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Bridge Academy Students Make their Mark

3 October 2017 Local News

Stoke on Trent College’s Bridge Academy is taking part in this year’s Make Your Mark ballot, the largest consultation of young people in the country.

In a national annual ballot running from 12th August until 6th October, young people across the country will be asked what issues matter most to them, in order to determine what is debated by the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) in the House of Commons on 10th November.

Voting takes places both online and through ballot papers issues in schools and youth centres throughout the UK.

Rebecca Zoe Smith, Lecturer in Foundation at the Bridge Academy, said:  “Our learners have voted on topics that they feel are important for young people such as voting at 16, LGBT, Making the Invisible Visible as well as protecting school budgets from demanding cuts.  These students are our future and it is really important they have their say and make their voices heard!”

Ten topics were available to choose from on the Make Your Mark ballot paper, with the five most popular topics among young people going on to be discussed by Members of Youth Parliament in their November debate, chaired by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP, and broadcast live on BBC Parliament.

Last year’s Make Your Mark ballot saw nearly 980,000 young people voting, making it the largest youth consultation of its kind in the UK.

Over 100 students of the Bridge Academy have joined in the ballot.

16-year-old pupil Nicola Bloor (pictured on the left), who supported the Make Your Mark campaign said: “It was important for me to have my say as people are judgmental about mental health.  They deserve a better life and this gives me the opportunity to speak out at a young age and get my voice heard.”

Melanie Clarke is a Youth Development worker at Stoke on Trent City Council: “This is an ongoing partnership that we have working with Stoke on Trent College and the Bridge Foundation.  Campaigns such as these give students their say on local democracy, giving them a value in society.

We are at the Bridge Academy every Tuesday lunchtime working on different campaigns. This term we are working on employability skills, not just a CV but guiding youngsters on their pathway.”


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