Abbey Carter, Montgomeryshire's first Youth Parliament Member and Grace Barton, Partner Elected Member, also from Montgomeryshire, have been congratulated on their election by local Assembly Member, Russell George.
The AM for Montgomeryshire congratulated Abbey, who was announced this week (Wednesday 5th December), as the successful candidate who will represent Montgomeryshire in the inaugural Youth Parliament for Wales.
Also joining Abbey will be Grace Barton, also from Montgomeryshire, who will be representing the Carers Trust as a Partner Elected Member.
60 young people aged 11 - 18 are elected as Welsh Youth Parliament Members, 40 of them by voting in an election held in November 2018 and the remaining 20 were elected by young people from partner organisations.
Every two-year session of the Welsh Youth Parliament will empower Wales' young people to identify, raise awareness of and debate the important issues to them; listen to young people in Wales, represent their views, and act on the issues that are important to them. They will also work directly with the National Assembly for Wales to make young people's voices heard.
Mr George said:
"I would like to congratulate Abbey and Grace on their election and well done to all of those young people who put themselves forward for election.
"I hope that the Youth Parliament will serve to increase youth participation in devolved politics and encourage a higher voter turnout."
A Hansard Society report published in 2014 revealed that just 16% of 18 to 24-year-olds said they would vote in an election, compared to the 58% who said they would be prepared to vote if they felt strongly about an issue.
Mr George added:
"Through Abbey, Grace and other Youth Parliament Members, Montgomeryshire’s children and young people are given the opportunity to have their say on issues that matter to them, and to ensure that politicians and other decision makers listen to their voices.
"I look forward to working with Abbey on her priorities including Mental Health, Education and the Welsh Language and Grace's priorities which include discrimination, championing young carers' voices and raising awareness of young carers' rights.
“Early engagement is critical to embedding the importance of the democratic process to tomorrow’s electorate.
“Establishing a well-resourced youth parliament is a crucial step in ensuring future youth participation in Welsh politics and I hope it goes from strength to strength."
Notes to Editors
For more information about the Youth Parliament, please visit www.youthparliament.wales
Please find below a Candidate Profile of Abbey Carter, Youth Parliament Member for Montgomeryshire and Grace Barton, Partner Elected Member representing the Carers Trust.
Candidate Profile - Abbey Carter:
I want to represent the rural parts of Wales and as a Syrian refugee advocate, I'd like to give the less heard voices a bigger platform. I want to bring new ideas about mental health help for young people, making education a more equal platform for all and boosting the Welsh language across Wales, especially as I'm a Welsh speaker living in an area very close to the border where the language is struggling. I'd consult with my local schools and with the Powys Youth Forum, which I am a proud member.
My time in the forum has given me great experience which I'd love to bring to the Welsh Youth Parliament. My work with the youth forum and my time spent volunteering to teach the Syrian refugees in my past high school to give them more confidence in maths and English allowed me to receive the Newtown High School Community Shield this year. I would absolutely love to be a member of the Welsh Youth Parliament and I'd consider it to be an honour to represent Montgomeryshire. Diolch yn fawr iawn!
Candidate Profile - Grace Barton:
I am proud to represent the views of Young Carers and am looking forward to working with the new youth council members for young carers to lobby for issues important to us. There is no stereotype to Young Carers issues and worries are individual. I feel that I can play an active role within the council.
I am huge believer in equal rights and opportunities and am looking forward to raising awareness of the needs and issues Young carers and Young Adult Carers are concerned about as well as raising their profile and creating awareness.
I have been a young carer all of my life and know first hand the highs and lows caring can bring, I am particularly passionate about supporting young carers and Young Adult carers within education, this was difficult for me and I’m keen to take issues to the youth parliament for consideration and awareness. I am a keen communicator and feel I can confidently represent young carers in this new role.
I am currently studying a level 3 early years and childcare course and hope to gain a place to study Learning Disability Nursing in the future.