The following groups or forums provide a space for young people to

  • think for themselves
  • question and challenge themselves and each other
  • develop confidence in expressing their own opinions

It introduces them to how things work in a democratic system. When a group of people vote, they exercise their freedom and right to choose. This is known as democracy.

Somerset UK Youth Parliament

Somerset UK Youth Parliament is supported by Somerset Council’s Engagement and Participation team. It is made up of three elected members who represent Somerset at the national UK Youth Parliament. They are elected through schools, colleges and youth clubs across Somerset every 2 years.

They are supported by an Advisory Group of self-selected young people aged 10 to 25 years from all backgrounds.

They bring a range of experiences, opinions and abilities, which makes the group interesting, strong, fun and better able to represent others.

Group members take part in many activities which can include:

  • consultations
  • decision making
  • commissioning
  • grant giving
  • interviewing
  • attending events and making presentations/public speaking
  • debating
  • design, promotion and workshop facilitation
  • campaigning on their chosen manifestos

Jas, a former Somerset MYP said “We should be working alongside decision-makers and services, especially where things affect our lives; consulting, advising, coming up with ideas and solutions – telling them what concerns us and what we need.”

Joel, also a former MYP , said “No one should work with or for children and young people unless our voices are included continually and consistently. ‘Youth Voice’ should be fixed at every level of decision-making in services, to get the best outcomes possible.”

To find out more, please get in touch with Kate Darlington by:

Visit the Somerset Youth Parliament website for more information:

Youth Town and Parish Councils

There is a long history of youth councils in Somerset towns and villages, including an award-winning Youth Parish Council in South Petherton.

School and College Councils

Most schools and colleges in Somerset have a student council or group involved in helping to run the school. You can contact individual schools to find out more about their councils.

Parliamentary Education Service

This service aims to educate young people and schools about parliament and how our democracy works. The Parliamentary Education Service website has many downloadable curriculum and training resources. You can also find information about how to arrange parliamentary visits.

Citizenship Youth Parliament

The Citizenship Foundation is a charitable trust which encourages young people to take part in society as equal members. It helps them to understand the law, politics and democratic life whilst encouraging inclusion and participation for everyone.

The Foundation

  • provides resources for schools and colleges
  • promotes awareness-raising and social action campaigns

Last reviewed: April 30, 2024 by Sophie

Next review due: October 30, 2024

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