Picture courtesy of UKYP

How does UKYP work?

The UK Youth Parliament has over 600 representatives (369 seats for elected MYPs (Members of Youth Parliament) and over 230 Deputy MYPs, all aged 11-18.

MYPs are usually elected in annual youth elections throughout the UK. Any young person aged 11-18 can stand or vote. In the past two years one million young people have voted in UK Youth Parliament elections.

Once elected MYPs organise events and projects, run campaigns and influence decision makers on the issues which matter most to young people. All MYPs have the opportunity to meet once a year at the UK Youth Parliament Annual Sitting.

The Beginning

The idea for a UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) originated from young people themselves. The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) sponsored the development of the proposal and a Steering Committee, led by Andrew Rowe (the then MP for Faversham and Mid-Kent) and chaired by James Moody, a young person, operated between October 1998 and December 2000, to oversee the establishment of the organisation and the first sitting.

The Aims

UKYP aims to give the young people of the UK between the ages of 11 and 18 a voice, which will be heard and listened to by local, regional and national government, providers of services for young people and other agencies who have an interest in the views and needs of young people.

It has an independent national identity, that has a rolling programme of activities across the year. This includes an Annual Sitting, a Sitting in the House of Commons, regional meetings, dialogue with Ministers and Opposition spokespeople and inputs to policy and programme development.

National campaigns

UKYP believes that the national curriculum should be radically overhauled through a youth-led review that helps develop young people’s political knowledge, better sex and relationship education, cultural awareness, community cohesion, finance skills and sustainable living; in short, a curriculum that can help prepare them for life.

Links and sources

  • Visit the UKYP website here
  • Both Scotland and Wales have similar concepts. For further info, see here (Scotland) and here (Wales)