The very first Welsh Youth Parliament has been formed and the first debate was held in the Senedd recently.
The aim of the parliament is to give young people a platform to talk about things that matter to them and make a positive impact on the future of Wales.
A total of 60 representatives sat in the Senedd for the first meeting. 40 of the representatives were elected by young people from across Wales and a further 20 were elected by young people from partner organisations.
All 11-18 year olds in Wales were eligible to vote, with about 13,000 registering to choose from a group of 480 candidates.
The candidate voted to represent Wrexham was 16-year-old Jonathan Powell and the candidate voted to represent Clwyd South was 18-year-old Talulah Thomas.
“It’s a great privilege”
Jonathan said; “The purpose of the Welsh Youth Parliament is quite simple really, it is to get the opinions of the young people across Wales and to bring change and to listen to them. It is a great privilege and very important that we can now say we have a Welsh Youth Parliament so that young people from all over Wales can have a voice.”
“When I got there I thought WOW!”
Talking about her experience of the first meeting at the Senedd Talulah said; “I did worry, at first, that it was going to be a talking shop for young people and not much would really get done. But, when I got there I thought ‘WOW’, the people who are in charge want to hear from us and want to listen to what we have to say. After going, I realised that maybe we can have some sort of influence over what goes on.”
Take a look at more of what they had to say in these short films:
Partner organisations include Girlguiding Cymru, Youth Cymru, Tros Gynnal Plant, Voices from Care, Barnardo’s Cymru and Learning Disability Wales with an aim of ensuring diversity and inclusivity for the new body.
The aim of the Welsh Youth Parliament is to create a debate between the young people and the National Assembly itself, so that they do ultimately influence policies and decisions that will affect their lives.