Local members of the Youth Parliament were faced with not being able to afford attending the UK Annual Sitting, to be held at the University of Exeter later this month. However, after being contacted by Member of the Youth Parliament (MYP) Amber McStravick, Alliance MLA Mrs Cochrane nominated the group for financial assistance from the Politics Plus programme, which they subsequently received.
The Youth Parliament provides an opportunity for those aged 11-18 to use their voices to bring about social change, running campaigns and attempting to influence decision makers on the issues that matter to young people.
Judith Cochrane (pictured with MYPs Amber McStravick and Ross McVittie) said: “It was great to meet Members of the Youth Parliament, to hear first-hand about their concerns and campaign issues.
“By running for election they have shown their leadership potential, working on behalf of an age group that is underrepresented and often ignored.
“The current MYPs are the post-Troubles and Good Friday Agreement generation, who can positively affect Northern Ireland without being entrenched in the old divides.
“It is often said part of the problem in Stormont is we have too many career politicians, so I urged the young people to not just aspire to be a politician but rather aspire to be an effective one – that means having studied and worked in other areas so they bring useful skills and experience to the table.”