Inspiring the next generation of voters for Make Your Mark week

29 January 2024

On Monday 29 January, Make Your Mark kicked-off in Thurrock with the aim of inspiring young people across the borough to take part in the UK's largest youth consultation.

Make Your Mark is part of UK Youth Parliament's ambition to determine which topics are most important to young people including crime, transport and the environment.

The previous campaign in 2022 showed that health and wellbeing was the biggest issue that young people wanted addressing.

The vote is open now to anyone aged 11 to 18 year-olds in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and will close on 8 March 2024.

As with previous years, young people can vote online and in their schools, colleges and youth groups.

To kick-off the campaign, USP College in Grays were visited by Lionel Mazithulela, Thurrock's Member of Youth Parliament, who was on-hand to explain the importance of voting to their students.

Throughout the week students at USP College will have the opportunity to discuss the 10 key themes of the campaign during progress coach sessions. After the discussions have taken place, each student will have the opportunity to vote in a replica polling station, giving them a taste of what it will be like once they are eligible to vote during general and local elections.

For many of the students, who were aged over 16, it was their first-time learning that they could register to vote before they turn 18 years-old.

Cllr Adam Carter, Cabinet Member for Education, said: "It is really important that young people in Thurrock can share their thoughts on the important issues that affect their lives, and this consultation is one of the best ways to do so. I hope as many young people as possible across Thurrock use the opportunity to have their say and I look forward to hearing the results in March."

Lionel Mazithulela, Thurrock's Member of Youth Parliament, said: "It was a pleasure to visit USP College to raise awareness of the biggest youth consultation in the UK. Hopefully the campaign will inspire more young people to get involved and have a say so that we can ensure that the issues that are affecting our generation the most can be addressed in parliament."