“I want to ensure that the voices and rights of children and young people are acknowledged across Wales”

Author Tilley Thomas - Guest Post   |   Published 19/10/2018   |   Last Updated 05/05/2021   |   Reading Time minutes

“It’s our future”

My name is Chantelle (Tilley) Thomas and I’m a Public Services student at Coleg Sir Gar with the hope of becoming a Police Officer or Lawyer. As an individual with enthusiasm for politics, children’s rights and education – the Youth Parliament is an exciting time for all 11-18 year olds, including myself.

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Why is having a Youth Parliament important to me?

As a care leaver, I believe that it is important for young people to have their voices heard and to feel empowered. I feel that in the past, voices of children and young people are often not taken seriously in politics – having a Youth Parliament in Wales will help empower young people and to promote the voice of the future generation in Wales. Giving young people, including myself, the opportunity to be heard, have a voice and have a chance to make a difference will help break the stigma which some children and young people face.

I believe that together as a Youth Parliament, concerns and passions of young people will be respected. I hope that young people take up the opportunity to register to vote.

Having a Youth Parliament will help young people to be taken more seriously, and to help with future careers by giving young people more of a stance and opportunity to make positive change.

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(Me and The Children's Commissioner for Wales, Sally Holland in a Young Wales event - talking about issues that are important to yound people)

I find that with a lot of opportunities in Wales the age group is always a lot higher, but the Youth Parliament gives younger voices the chance to help make a difference, along with voting at the age of 16.

Having had many years of experience within care, I would love to see young people of all backgrounds having the chance to help change things for the better, including the care system.

Having a Youth Parliament means that more people like me can be given the chance to gain new skills, knowledge and experience that will help us in our future careers – whether it’s becoming a Police Officer or running your own business.

I think this is a great step in the right direction for the younger generation in Wales to be included in politics and realise how important it is to know what is going on in the country which they can be involved in and have their say.