Earlier this year we were delighted to hear that a Gorton resident was elected to be member of the Manchester Youth Parliament. 

Alex Kennedy was elected into the MYP at the Manchester Town Hall. She had to outline her own manifesto against eight other candidates, and she was voted as the winner.
 
This is an incredible achievement and really great news for Gorton. She will now sit in the House of Commons and have many similar responsibilities to a regular MP. We're really proud of her accomplishment and we asked her some questions to let us know more about the process, and what it now means to her. We are really looking forward to seeing what this next chapter brings for her.

I first wanted to get involved after I saw and experienced the lack of opportunity in my local area.

I began to get involved in local community projects and really saw impact my work had on other people.

At the end of March in 2019 I began working with Manchester Youth Council after many conversations with the Member of Youth Parliament at the time James Plant. It was MYC where I realised my passion for youth work.

A member of Youth Parliament (MYP) represents the city of where they are elected. They have to support and listen to young people as well as presenting their concerns to the rest of the youth parliament when we meet in the House of Commons in November.

MYPs also work with local authorities and councils to represent young people at a local level by attending full councils and council scrutiny meetings. 

I love helping people and spend a lot of time working in my local community to help others.

Although this often means I miss out on time with my family and friends I think its worth it in the long run.

Throughout my term as MYP I hope to create opportunities for young people and help them to find a voice of their own. I want every young person to feel included and to feel they have access to whatever they need to lead a good life.

Climate Change is obviously on of the most pressing issues for young people right now.

Climate Change will impact our lives in many ways, young people are taking a stand and are fighting for a safer future for everyone.

However I believe that a curriculum for life would also  have a massive impact on every young person’s future. They would be prepared to head into the future knowing how to pay bills and at least cook a few basic meals. This will also be something I am campaigning for this year.

The election process works similarly to that of an MP. Ballots are sent to schools and youth groups and young people (aged 11-18) put a cross in the box next to the candidate that they want to represent them as an MYP.

The young people with the highest votes become MYPs.

This year 10,000 young people voted which was a 144% increase from last year’s election voting.

My family and friends are very proud of me and have been supporting me all the way through this process.

I'm really excited to start this process and I’m looking forward to working with other MYPs (both past and present) to make a difference for young people across the UK.

Alex Kennedy (right) Alex Kennedy (right)