Welsh Youth Parliament votes to prioritise Emotional and Mental Health Support
Today, the first Welsh Youth Parliament voted the following the issues as their main themes for the next two years; emotional and mental health support, littering and plastic waste and life skills in the curriculum.
In a historic vote during its first ever meeting the democratically-elected body, representing all young people in Wales, set out what it hopes to achieve over the next two years.
The 60 Members met in the Siambr of the Senedd, taking the seats normally occupied by members of the National Assembly for Wales, on Saturday, 23 February.
Llywydd of the National Assembly for Wales, Elin Jones AM, chaired proceedings as each Welsh Youth Parliament Member gave inaugural speeches about the subjects they care most about. These included:
Welsh language and culture, support for vulnerable young people, life skills in the curriculum, hate crime, equality and plastic waste. During the session members reflected on their own personal experiences and those of their peers, friends and family.
"You are amazing young people. You spoke about your issues with passion and I felt that passion in this chamber today."
- Elin Jones AM, Llywydd - The National Assembly for Wales.
As members debated which key areas to prioritise in its programme of work, the Welsh Youth Parliament also considered a nationwide poll of thousands of young people across Wales asking what they think the Parliament should focus on.
Addressing the WYP members today, Llywydd, Elin Jones AM, said:
“You are amazing young people. I feel honoured to be represented by you. You spoke about your issues with passion and I felt that passion in this chamber today. You have rejuvenated my belief and hope in Welsh democracy.
Arianwen Fox-James, WYP member for Brecon and Radnorshire spoke during the session on Emotional and Mental Health support which 41 Welsh Youth Parliament Members voted for. She said:
“Everyone in this room will struggle with confidence at one point in their lives but everyone here has a common goal of giving our people acceptance and appreciation. Teenagers everywhere are feeling alone and have nowhere to turn to. If suicide is a leading cause of death why are we not supporting young people?”
Throughout the weekend WYPMs heard from BBC Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens as he led a workshop on making an impact, took part in ice-breaker sessions to get to know each other better and understand what their aspirations and challenges.
The members will hold smaller group sessions to discuss their priorities over the coming months and consult with young people in their constituencies and partner organisations.
The Welsh Youth Parliament will meet again in October.
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