Town Hall event gives teens a voice

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European Youth Parliament in Liverpool. Pic © JMU Journalism

European Youth Parliament in Liverpool. Pic © JMU Journalism

A ‘Question Time’-style panel in Liverpool’s Town Hall saw more than 100 students express their political interests and take part in debates.

The community outreach scheme, named EurVoice, is co-ordinated by the European Youth Parliament UK. The educational charity invites 11 to 18-year-olds from local schools to express their opinions on political matters.

Liverpool’s forum highlighted mental health issues amongst the young, and discussed lowering the voting age to 16.  Almost 40 speeches “of a very high calibre” were delivered, according to Jeff Dunn, a trustee of the EPYUK.

He told JMU Journalism: “The idea of mental health is important as we actually have some young people in schools who have mental health issues themselves. We have a mental health champion and she is trying to put forward the view that young people aren’t being listened to.”

The event is held every year in October with the European Youth Parliament UK, with previous meetings provoking debates on crime, youth unemployment and the rise in tuition fees, whilst encouraging team-building skills and the confidence to speak to a crowd.

Mr Dunn said: “I think it’s very important that these young people do have a say, because they have a completely different perspective on things.”

With local politicians and community figures at hand to discuss the matters raised, the young adults were able to engage and receive instant feedback.

About Stephanie Bewley, JMU Journalism