Takeover Challenge / Democracy Day 2016

“The Democracy Day Takeover Challenge is attended and supported by youth services, West Sussex Youth Cabinet, young people from across West Sussex and important adult guests, this year including Stephen Hillier and Julie Tidbury. Young people come and hear speeches debating current issues important to them, attend workshops, and finally, vote on the Youth Cabinets campaign for the following 6 months. Myself and other members of Youth Cabinet attended to help in facilitating small debates after the speeches. Democracy day is useful to us, as we learn what young people want from the campaign they vote for us to take on.

The speech topics are chosen by the Youth Cabinet based on the national and county-wide results of the Make Your Mark campaign. Make you Mark is a National Campaign, where young people, aged 11-18, vote on current issues they feel are important. West Sussex placed in the top 10 for the number of votes again. Short speeches were given by myself and others, presenting for and against arguments for 3 current issues: Tackling Racism and Discrimination, Curriculum for Life and Mental Health. Those attending then discussed their opinions with their tables, and fed-back to everyone. Later on, there was a vote on the topic the young people want to be the Youth Cabinets campaign. Curriculum for Life was the chosen campaign.

3 workshops were held during the day, covering topics like Radicalisation and Improving Sexual Education and PSHE. They included activities and discussions, another opportunity to share your own opinions and be heard. Democracy day allowed young people to have their voices heard, but they could also be informed by the speeches given and workshops. It was also an opportunity for adults and services attending to hear their opinions and what they wanted to see changed or improved. Written by Sofia Comper-Cavanna, Youth Cabinet Member.

“The day was an open forum for young people to express their opinions on a wide range of issues that affect them. We had three workshops running over the day addressing issues from PREVENT to healthy relationships. At the end of the day we carried out a vote on what issue YPs wanted the youth cabinet to take forward, ‘A curriculum for life’ won the vote. After the event one YP commented that ‘The only improvement would’ve been if we could have taken part in all 3 workshops’.” Written by George Bowron, Youth Cabinet Member.

“Encouraging young people into politics is vital, West Sussex’s Democracy Day enable them to do so and see the affect they can make”. Kelly Balmer 16 – UKYP Procedures Group.

One Word to describe Discrimination

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