Youth Parliament election success for city youngsters

Joshua McKeith (L) and Dane Bainbridge

Two teenagers are celebrating after being elected to be representatives for Sunderland youngsters on a national stage.

Dane Bainbridge and Joshua McKeith, both 17, were announced as the winning candidates in the UK Youth Parliament elections last Wednesday (February 14th).

The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Sunderland, Councillor Doris MacKnight, revealed the results at a ceremony held in Sunderland City Council Chambers.

As the city’s elected MYPs, or Members of the Youth Parliament, Dane and Joshua will now go on to represent the young people of Sunderland on a national stage for the next two years.

The role includes identifying and voicing the issues that are most important Sunderland’s young people, liaising with other MYPs across the country to co-ordinate campaigns and attending annual House of Commons debates.

Dane, who attends St Roberts of Newminster, said: “It is extremely humbling to be elected as a representative of young people in the city.” Meanwhile, Joshua, who attends Monkwearmouth Academy, added: “I am excited about becoming an MYP, to put in action the voices of children and young people in Sunderland.”

Thirteen candidates, aged from 12 to 18, from across Sunderland put themselves forward for the two available seats this year and more than 5,748 young people cast their vote in the elections.

The election process was organised and facilitated by Together for Children and the company will now work with the newly elected MYPs to support them as they undertake their new role.

The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Sunderland, Councillor Doris MacKnight, said: “I’d like to extend my sincere congratulations to Dane and Joshua. I’m sure they will both make a very positive impact in their new role as MYPs.

“I’d also like to commend the other 11 young candidates who put themselves forward for these elections and thank our outgoing MYPs, Rachel Krajovska, Thomas Crawford and deputy Lesedi Mphisa who have all done a sterling job during their time in the role. It is great to see that so many of our city’s young people are keen to get involved and make a difference.”

Sue Carty, Acting Chief Executive at Together for Children, added: “Children and young people are at the heart of everything we do as an organisation and it is fantastic that we are able to help Sunderland youngsters to have their voice and opinions heard on a national stage.

“I’m sure that Dane and Joshua will do a fantastic job as our city’s new representatives and I look forward to seeing their achievements over their two years in office as well as supporting them along the way.”

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