Sandwell Youth Parliament members take part in debates at House of Commons

Sandwell’s two UK Youth Parliament Members have been taking part in debates about vital issues affecting young people at the House of Commons in London.

Mohammed Al-Hasan (aged 17) from Wednesbury, and Olivia Gall (aged 17) from Tividale, representing Sandwell and its young people, joined around 250 fellow members of the UK Youth Parliament, at their annual House of Commons sitting in Parliament.

And Mohammed was selected by Deputy Speaker, Dame Rosie Winterton to speak during the debate on education and health. He spoke about his campaign to help tackle inappropriate behaviour and sexual harassment against women and girls.

Young Parliament Members were taking part in an annual debate in the House of Commons chamber. They debate five issues chosen by a ballot of young people from across the UK in the National Make Your Mark ballot – the biggest annual referendum of teenagers in the UK.

This year’s topics were: impact of discrimination on health, environment and health, education and health, cost of living and health, and mental health services.

The topic that received the most votes was cost of living and health. This topic will now become the UK Youth Parliament's priority campaign for 2023. Mohammed said:

“Speaking in the House of Commons was the ultimate privilege and a surreal experience, as I hope I will be sat in that chamber again one day.

“I’ve been passionate about working to prevent violence and harassment towards women and girls for over a year now and voicing my policy motion in Parliament was the perfect conclusion to my first year in post as a Member of the Youth Parliament.”

Sandwell’s cabinet member for education and children, Councillor Simon Hackett, added: “Well done to Mohammed and Olivia for representing Sandwell at such a high profile event for young people.

“Our Youth Service and SHAPE Team work incredibly hard to help young people in Sandwell have a voice and be listened to at a local level. To have the opportunity to raise issues at a national level is a really proud achievement for these young people.”

Mohammed and Olivia were elected as Sandwell’s two UK Youth Parliament Members by more than 2,400 young people across Sandwell in February this year.

The UK Youth Parliament – which is backed by the British Youth Council -  enables young people to use their energy passion to change the world for the better, providing opportunities for 11-18-year-olds to use their elected voice to bring about social change through meaningful representation and campaigning.

More than 2,400 Sandwell young people took part in the Make Your Mark Ballot, with the top three topics voted for being: Health and Wellbeing; Jobs, Money, Homes and Opportunities; and Education and Learning.

Mohammed has also been a member of the SHAPE Youth Forum since 2019, and became Chair of the Forum in 2021. He is also one of two Sandwell Youth Commissioners, voted for by young people in Sandwell in 2021.


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