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Slough Youth Parliament members reflect on achievements of the last year

Halfway through their terms in office, two Slough Youth Parliament (SYP) representatives have reflected on their proud achievements over the past year.

Baylis Court School A-level student Raakhi Sharma was elected as youth rep in 2017 and was been chosen as the new UK Youth Parliament member for Slough on Wednesday, February 14.

She will represent the town in the House of Commons at the Youth Parliament’s annual debate on November 11.

“I’m really excited to make sure Slough is here and the issues people are facing in Slough are getting heard,” she said.

One of the things the 16-year-old is most proud of is SYP’s work on young people’s mental health, including promoting Kooth, an online service for youngsters and setting up a PSHE network across most of the borough’s secondary schools.

Schools staff can share ideas and resources with each other to help boost their students’ wellbeing with PSHE lessons that are relevant to different age groups.

Reflecting on her first year in SYP, she said: “It’s made me grow as a person. I’m more confident now, my public speaking skills have improved.”

Both Raakhi and her deputy Member of Youth Parliament for Slough, Callum Fullam, who is also mid-way through his term, are proud of SYP’s campaigning for the right to vote for 16-year-olds.

SYP is seeking official support from Slough Borough Council and wants councillors to join their campaigning.

Callum said SYP plans on writing to MP for Slough Tan Dhesi to ask for his backing and for him to raise the matter in Parliament.

“We still need more support or else it’s never going to happen,” said Callum, who studies at St Joseph’s Catholic High School.

Callum was first elected to SYP in 2015 and re-elected in 2017.

As well as votes for 16-year-olds Callum said mental health would be a strong focus for the year.

The 16-year-old said: “We’re very open about mental health and how everybody has mental health.”

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