Bolton’s Youth MPs, Asim Iqbal and Lauren Webb, have taken part in the UK Youth Parliament Annual Sitting.
The event, held at Ulster University in Belfast between July 23 and July 26, saw 400 youth MPs from around the country question Education Minister, Tim Lawton, on the government’s policies for young people.
The young politicians also met Gill Hicks, a survivor of the 7/7 bombings in London, and listened to her inspirational speech about how every single one of us can make a difference to society.
Lauren and Asim joined their peers to bring issues affecting local young people to a national stage. They took part in debates, and helped on campaigns for cheaper transport, an end to university tuition fees and political education for all.
The pair also attended workshops on topics that are important to young people including drugs, body image, education and employment as well as information on how to communicate with hard-to-reach young people.
While in Belfast, Lauren and Asim were able to visit the Stormont parliament buildings and learn about the history of Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Assembly. To celebrate their hard work, they attended a silent disco and a talent show alongside the other youth MPs.
The Youth MPs were kindly sponsored with branded t-shirts by local Bolton company, Abstract Creative Screenprinting & Embroidery.
Lauren Webb, aged 15, said: “Meeting and talking to other Youth MPs about how we can improve things for young people was really useful, I had the chance to talk about issues that affect young people in Bolton.”
Asim Iqbal, aged 17, said: “I learned how to interact with groups of young people, which will help me to talk to hard-to-reach young people in Bolton.”
“The Youth Parliament is a great way for Lauren and Asim to bring issues that are central to young people in Bolton to a national forum”, said Councillor Ebrahim Adia, Executive Member for Children’s Services at Bolton Council.
“By spending three full days in Belfast immersing themselves in the event, I’m sure they will have come away inspired and ready to continue doing their best for the young people of the borough.”
For more information or to join Bolton Youth Council please call Bolton Council’s Participation Team on 01204 334247.