Young people in Luton have been voting for a new local youth MP to represent them on the United Kingdom Youth Parliament (UKYP) and Denbigh High School student Sofia Yasin has been elected as the Deputy Youth MP for Luton.
The United Kingdom Youth Parliament (UKYP) is run by young people, for young people and provides opportunities for 11-18 year olds to have their say and bring about social change.
Each Local Authority in England represents a UKYP constituency and any young person between the ages of 11 18 can stand to take part in the elections.
During the course of their 1 year term of office, youth MP's will attend between 6 and 10 regional meetings where they will discuss their areas of concern and organise campaigns, projects and events. The UKYP then links up with the regional Government Offices, Assemblies and Development Agencies to ensure that the young people's views are being heard.
Year 8 Denbigh High School student Sofia, who is a member of the Buddies Scheme and is also on Denbigh's School Council was voted for by students at schools across Luton who placed their votes via the Luton Youth Election website, by ballot papers within school and by text.
To try and make it onto the UKYP Sofia had to take part in an application and interview process and devise an election campaign before it was taken to the final vote.
In the end over 8000 votes were counted (approximately 5000 more than last year) as the young people around Luton had their say.
Student's at Denbigh placed their votes as part of a wider real life' democracy exercise which was one of a number of Citizenship' activities that students have taken part in within the last few weeks. (Citizenship education is about empowering students to engage with the wider community by learning about the law, democracy and society.)
We would all like to congratulate Sofia and wish her the best of luck in her new role.