As Britain headed to the polls in the General Election, new members of the East Sussex Youth Cabinet were setting out their stall for their two-year term of office.
They will be campaigning to protect the environment and tackle knife crime – the two issues which polled highest among East Sussex young people in the national Make Your Mark ballot organised by the British Youth Council.
A total of 21 young people aged between 11 and 18 will take their seats, having been elected by their peers to represent their school, college or youth group.
Many of the new members gathered for the first time at a welcome evening held in County Hall, Lewes, and hosted by Becky Shaw, East Sussex County Council chief executive.
Bella Rees-King, 14, from Hastings, who was chosen again by her school as Youth Cabinet member in Hastings, said: “It’s going to be great working together with a new group on a totally new campaign: to protect the environment. We will be challenging different adult decision-makers to take action in schools and colleges and at county, district and borough councils.”
The outgoing Youth Cabinet highlighted their work on mental health, including developing ‘top ten tips’ for schools and for parents and carers to support young people’s mental health.
Outgoing Youth Cabinet member Elsa Phillips, 16, from Hastings spoke to new members about her experiences, urging them to ‘question everything’ and to ‘use your voice’.
The previous Youth Cabinet’s mental health campaign which promoted Top Ten Tips for parents to support young people’s mental health can be seen at www.openforparents.org.uk/top-10-tips-for-parents/