Dr Ellie Chowns

for North Herefordshire

Dr Ellie Chowns

for North Herefordshire

How can we support and encourage young people to get more engaged with politics? That was the theme of this workshop in Hereford last week facilitated by local arts project Rural Media.

It was great to chat with colleagues from all sorts of organisations – and across traditional political divides – about this vital topic. I am absolutely passionate about bringing new voices into politics! We need to invite young people into political spaces, create new spaces for them to make their voices heard – and support them when they claim political space on their own initiative.

Since getting involved in politics myself a few years ago, I’ve tried to do this as much as possible – for example, by pushing for every local Board to have youth representation. As an MEP I took several groups of young people over to see the Brussels Parliament in action, and I set up the West Midlands Youth Climate Assembly.

I think the most powerful thing any of us can do is simply to encourage the young people we meet to speak up and make their voices heard – and to stand for election!

I am always happy to chat to anyone about how to get more involved in politics – do reach out if you’d like to chat with me about this!