Hethersett Academy’s Sarah Barrett is elected as Youth Parliament Member for Norwich & South!

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March 21st 2022

Youth Parliament elections and the Make Your Mark vote is an initiative hosted by the British Youth Council and supported by UK Parliament and Norfolk County Council. The initiative encourages young people from across the UK to vote in their local election, and also the Mark Your Mark vote, which determines the issues that will be the subjects of focus throughout the year. Youth Parliament members represent young people’s views locally and nationally to important decision makers. 

Hethersett Academy took part in an exciting week of form-time learning about Democracy, Youth Parliament and hearing from each of the 11 candidates for Norwich and South.  Students also reflected upon and voted for the issues that they would like to see as priorities by their elected representatives. 5 students from Hethersett Academy went on to stand in the election from years 7 - 11, with 37 schools in Norfolk taking part. Incredibly, The Norfolk Youth Parliament, and the Make Your Mark received over 23,500 votes. Not only will these results be used nationally, but will also be used by Norfolk County Council to build up a picture of priorities of young people locally to then build and develop services, so every single vote really does make a difference.

We are thrilled to announce that Hethersett Academy’s Year 10 student, Sarah Barrett has been lected as Norwich & South’s Youth Parliament member.

In her campaign speech, Sarah said:

“I would love to represent young people in south Norfolk and Norwich because I feel very passionately about environmental but also social issues that face young people today. I see this opportunity as a chance to make a difference in important issues and to bring young people across the UK together. Youth Parliament is a role I have been interested in for a long time and I know I can help make a difference. As a Youth Parliament member I hope to tackle problems regarding mental health and climate change because I feel these are 2 very big issues facing young people in society today. For example, current climate change rates will greatly impact our generation, so I think it's important to do something now before it's too late because after all, there is no planet B. Ways to tackle this could consist of encouraging shops to use plastic free packaging and grants for solar panels in communal areas like schools. Additionally, mental health conditions are far too common amongst young people. 1 in 7 young people aged 4 to 17 experience a mental health condition in any given year and this has only increased since the pandemic.

As a Youth Parliament member I hope to utilize the position in order to achieve justice on what I really believe are very important issues currently facing young people in the Uk and I will listen to other 11-18 year olds in order to help resolve problems they may face. This could include domestic violence and hate crime, discrimination and also childhood poverty. Those of more deprived households may feel at a disadvantage because clubs and trips can cost extra money which results in them missing out. This is not okay. As a society, we can agree there should be more funds for activities such as sport, music lessons and art based clubs that can be offered to people free of expenses.

I would bring key qualities to this role including my passion for equality and enthusiasm for the environment and I will ensure that after my 2 years in role, the young people of South Norfolk and Norwich will have an improved quality of life for years to follow.”


Huge congratulations to Sarah and her impressive campaign, we’re looking forward to watching her flourish within her new role.

Read all about the British Youth Parliament here.