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Last Updated: Friday February 11 2005 08:35 GMT

I'm a Member of Youth Parliament

Hanna
The UK Youth Parliament has just had elections for representatives from Devon.

Hanna won the election and tells us what it's like to be a Youth Member of Parliament.

"I feel really pleased that I've been given the opportunity to represent the youth of Devon by being elected the Youth Member of Parliament.

The UK Youth Parliament is made up of people that are elected by kids in schools and youth centres across the country. You can vote if you're between 11 and 18.

Making change

We discuss issues affecting young people and how we can influence them and change them for the better.

I first found out about UKYP when I was at school and saw a notice about it. I don't know much about politics, but I thought it would be a good opportunity to stand for election and help build my skills for speaking in groups.

For the election campaign, I recorded a video clip saying who I was and the reasons for why I wanted to be elected. For example, I was keen on making the area around us a nice place to live.

I also wanted to be a voice of the youth because we're not listened to much.

Get voting!

The candidates for Devon went to a few schools to talk about UKYP and to get people to vote for us. It was a bit tense when I went to schools where there were other candidates standing for election too though!

Now that all the MYPs have been elected, we'll meet once a month to discuss issues with other members.

At my school, we're also going to try and think of a strategy to get feedback from the pupils where they can come to us with any issues they have.

I hope that in a year's time I will have grown in confidence and made a difference in Devon. I'm not doing this to put my views across - I want to do it for other people and get what they want. If that happens, I'll be happy."

Hanna, 15, Devon

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