The Make Your Mark national youth ballot is a fantastic opportunity for 11-18 year olds across the UK to get their voices heard and begin their democratic journey by voting on the policies they want to introduce or change.
Like many things in 2020, Make Your Mark was different. This year, Make Your Mark moved from being primarily paper based to an online vote (supported by UK Parliament). Despite the changes though, Make Your Mark continues to be the largest youth led consultation in the UK. It invites young people aged 11-18 to vote for one of ten topics that they consider the most important nationally as well as what issues are important locally.
Three topics were chosen as the 2021 national campaigns:
- Free University: We should invest in the young people of today by providing free university. The alternative is that young people will suffer financial hardship and not reach their full potential. (Devolved topic)
- Support Our Mental Health: More money should be given for young people’s mental health. We should be offered mental health support in schools and ensure that teachers know about mental health. (Devolved topic)
- Take Action on the Climate Emergency: Stop Plastic Pollution. If we do not take action now, it is predicted that waste plastics will outweigh fish in our oceans by 2050. Let’s reduce single-use and non-essential plastics (UK-wide topic)
In Devon, the top three local issues were:
- Domestic violence
- Access to jobs and training
These local issues were also raise in the consultation work we did last summer and are reflected in the four priorities that we’ve how we will respond to the challenges of COVID-19 between July 2020 and April 2021.
A more in depth look at the Make Your Mark results is available here. And for all enquiries, please contact Claire Richardson (Participation Team Leader) by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.