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Portsmouth’s next member of youth parliament, Sakura Elkington (15) and deputy Beth Hargreaves (16) have been welcomed into post and will work alongside councillors and influence key decisions that affect young people and children.
Sakura made a historical start to her role, which is open to young people aged 11-18 who live, work or study in Portsmouth, as she did a speech from the Guildhall Steps as part of Portsmouth’s memorial event for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Portsmouth MYP team also has a working group of young people who will help to support Sakura and Beth and ensure young people’s voices are heard from across the city.
Councillor Suzy Horton, Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council said: “I’m really pleased to welcome both Sakura and Beth to the council as Portsmouth’s next member and deputy member of youth parliament. I look forward to hearing their ideas as we work together to champion young people and children’s aspirations locally.
“Also a huge thank you to Destiny and Ella for all their work in the last year. We are keen to get more young people involved in Portsmouth’s MYP team so if this is something you would be interested in people get in touch.”
Sakura Elkington, who is a year 11 pupil at Miltoncross Academy, was welcomed into the role by outgoing member of youth parliament, Destiny Rose-Ford Kennedy and her deputy Ella Reilly, who have both left the city to start university. During their time in the role they organised a mental health event for young people and were on the panel at the Portsmouth COP26 event.
Destiny said: “Being the member of youth parliament was an incredible opportunity and I really enjoyed my time in post. It was great to be able to speak to different people, see how politics works at a local level and see how you can make an influence as a young person.”
Sakura said: “When Destiny and Ella were in the posts, I was inspired that two young women were making changes I wanted to see, and it inspired me to go for the role. I will continue to follow Destiny’s manifesto and am looking to champion diversity and inclusion, especially trans rights within schools, and ensure everyone has a platform to speak out.”
UK Youth Parliament provides opportunities for 11-18 year olds. All members of youth parliament meet nationally twice a year at the UK Youth Parliament Annual Sitting and UK Youth Parliament House of Commons Sitting.
Young people aged 11-18 who want to be involved in the MYP working group should contact Jo Morgan email@example.com
For more information on the city’s member of youth parliament follow portsmouthmypteam on Instagram.
Photo is of Portsmouth’s member of youth parliament, Sakura Elkington (left) and outgoing member of youth parliament, Destiny Rose-Ford Kennedy (right).