Young people encouraged to “Make Your Mark” by voting on issues they care about

Three young people holding a card that says Make Your Mark. Text reads: Make voting your top priority. 29 January to 8 March.

“Make Your Mark” is the message to young people from Westmorland and Furness Council as a nationwide ballot for 11 to 18-year-olds gets under way.

The council is encouraging as many schools, colleges and youth groups as possible to take part in “Mark Your Mark” - a ballot giving young people across the UK the opportunity to vote for the issues they most care about.

Voting is now open and 11 to 18-year-olds have until Friday 8 March to have their say on the themes to be focused on by UK Youth Parliament for the next two years.

From climate change to mental health and the cost of living, the top three issues voted for in “Make Your Mark” will set the themes for Members of Youth Parliament from June 2024 to February 2026 and could help to influence hundreds of projects and campaigns led by young people, for young people.

Councillor Sue Sanderson, the council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education and Skills, said: “I’m very proud of our young people across Westmorland and Furness. They have such a lot of passion for the issues they care about and they want to get involved and make a difference.

“Last time this ballot took place in 2022, a fantastic 11 per cent of young people in Cumbria took part compared to seven per cent nationwide.

“The top three topics voted for here were jobs, money, home and opportunities; health and wellbeing; and environment. These are all key priorities in our Council Plan and this tells me that we are on the right track for future generations with our vision to make Westmorland and Furness a great place to live, work and thrive.

“It’s very encouraging to know that young people share our vision and I would urge everyone aged 11 to 18 to help shape our future by taking part in this important vote.”

Make Your Mark is run by the British Youth Council charity. To find out more and vote online, go to: British Youth Council | Make Your Mark - UK Youth Parliament (