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Gloucestershire MYP makes maiden speech in House of Commons

Members of Youth Parliament for Gloucestershire debate in Commons Chamber

23 November 2015

Gloucestershire MYP makes maiden speech in House of Commons

Alysha Bodman, Member of Youth Parliament for Gloucestershire joined almost 300 elected Members of Youth Parliament at a national debate in the House of Commons on Friday 13 November 2015, to decide the UK Youth Parliament’s priority campaigns for 2016.

Alysha was selected to represent the South West to deliver a speech about the relevance of Magna Carta. She linked this to the topic of gender equality which she is extremely passionate about. She highlighted how far we have come as a society in terms of gender equality since 1215 but how far we still have to go. She questioned how we can feel represented in our parliament when only 29% of all MPs are female, receiving applause. Moreover, she also received a standing ovation at the end!

In the main debates; working together to combat racism and religious discrimination, particularly against people who are Muslim and Jewish was chosen as the issue for the national campaign for 2015 and mental health was chosen as the UK Youth Parliament’s priority campaign for England.

These motions were two of five debated by the UK Youth Parliament in the House of Commons chamber, during a session chaired by Speaker of the House of Commons the Rt Hon John Bercow MP.

The votes cast were:
UK Wide:
• Working together to combat racism and religious discrimination: 155
• Everyone should be paid at least the Living Wage: 117
• Mental health services should be improved with our help: 176
• A curriculum to prepare us for life: 110
• Make public transport cheaper, better and accessible for all: 33

A total of 279 Members of Youth Parliament aged 11-18 took part in the debates, the subjects were voted for by 969,992 young people across the UK in the annual UK Youth Parliament Make Your Mark ballot.

John Bercow, who presided over by the debates said: “Welcoming the Youth Parliament for their annual sitting in the has become one of the House of Common’s most pleasant traditions. Almost a million young people across the United Kingdom participated in this year’s vote, and I am pleased that they are taking advantage of the opportunity to make their voices heard in the heart of democracy in ever increasing numbers.”

Alysha Bodman, 16, Member of Youth Parliament for Gloucestershire said: “Although I was apprehensive to be speaking in such a prestigious place, I managed to use these nerves to my advantage and deliver a passionate speech about gender equality. It is a topic that I believe is very important so I am very glad that I was able to highlight the unrepresentative Parliament we have in terms of gender. Hopefully, we can work towards to a 50:50 parliament in the future!

She added: “I am extremely happy about the new chosen campaign topics. It’s important that we can continue to work on removing the stigma of mental health and start working towards making our society more accepting as these are important for young people all over the UK.”

Alysha is one of the three MYPs selected in elections run by the Youth Support Team, provided by Prospects on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council. To find out more about Alysha’s work representing the young people of Cotswolds and Stroud visit her Facebook or Twitter pages, search Alysha Bodman.

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Notes to Editor

About Prospects
The Prospects Group is a dynamic and enterprising organisation providing a wide range of education, employment and training services in the UK and internationally. At the heart of what we do is the drive to improve the life chances, skills and aspirations of everyone we support. Each year we touch the lives of more than a million people through our extensive range of high quality services.

About the Gloucestershire Youth Support Team
Prospects has delivered targeted youth support on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council since 2008 and in April 2013, the contract was expanded and extended for another three years. The Youth Support Team works with approximately 6,000 vulnerable young people in Gloucestershire. The service targets specific groups of young people who are the most at risk of not making a successful transition into adulthood. The Gloucestershire Youth Support Team also delivers statutory services and operates across Gloucestershire through youth support centres, mobile centres, in schools and with families and young people in their homes. The multi-disciplinary team comprises youth workers, family support, health and careers specialists working with police and probation officers. Acting as an integrated team, they identify young people most at risk and intervene early to prevent issues and problems escalating. The partnership is the first of its kind in England and more than 90% of young people supported by the team say it has made a difference to their lives.

Last year, the success of the unique partnership between Gloucestershire County Council and Prospects was recognised at a national level when they won the best Public/Private Partnership award at the national 2014 Local Government Chronicle (LGC) awards.

For more information please visit:

Media contact:
Alona de Havilland
PR Manager
0779 080 3882
01823 362804

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