Local young people grill parliamentary candidates

Youth of Winchester (YOW), the district’s youth council, took the opportunity last week to grill the areas six parliamentary candidates about the issues affecting young people.

The 18 members of the council asked the candidates to explain what they would do to help young people if they were elected, at their latest meeting on 11 February. Lively debate was heard on a number of topics but focussed on Youth of Winchester’s four key areas: transport, bullying, leisure opportunities and promoting positive images of young people. The organisation members all stressed that they are keen to ensure young people’s voices are heard and will be the main forum for young people to influence decisions.

Chair of YOW Malyha Ahmed (14) said “It was a great experience to meet the Parliamentary Candidates and it was enlightening to see what they could offer young people”.

James Griffen PR Officer said “YOW is a proactive organisation and is always really keen to meet with the ‘big cheeses’ who can make a difference for young people. We like to think of ourselves as the go to guys for any young people in the Winchester District with any issues or concerns.”

YOW meets every half term during school time (12-3pm), for elected officers only, but also has an open meeting, to which any young person can attend, from 5pm - 6.15pm, every other month. The next open meeting will be held on 12 March in Swanmore.

Youth of Winchester (formerly Winchester Youth Council) was formed in October 2007. Winchester City Council is working in partnership with Hampshire County Council Children's Services (Youth Service) and secondary schools across the district to support the organisation.

If you would like to find out more about Youth of Winchester and how you can get involved please email yow_pr_team@yahoo.co.uk or telephone Nicola Lawrence on 01962 848 497.