Seven Reasons You Should Run for Youth Council (and take over the world)

Man with placard saying 'What we want? Time Travel! When do we want it? Now!'

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Sammy Jones thinks having your say in what goes on in your area is really cool, and wants you to have a go by running in the Big Bristol Youth Vote 2015

Politics, eh? Sometimes it can feel like it’s a bunch of old blokes in suits murmuring about boring stuff like budgets. Or sewer sanitation.

BUT… what if you could use their magical political powers to change the bad things about your area, or to tell people about an issue that just hasn’t had the air time it deserves? That’s where the Bristol Big Youth Vote comes in. If you’re aged 11-18, you’re in with a shout at becoming a member of Bristol City Youth Council (bling bling), taking young people’s views to the big dogs at City Hall.

Read on to find out the whys, and if you’re interested, you can find out the hows at the bottom of the page.

1) An awesome chance to represent your area

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If there’s something that’s bugging you, and you think it should be bugging other people too, this is your opportunity to get something done about it. Whether you’re from Hartcliffe or Horfield, you can represent your hood and make a difference to an area that might not have a voice in Parliament (the place that decides pretty much everything, ever).

2) Get the adults to flippin’ listen for once

Zooey Deschanel on New Girl saying 'My life is just as important as your life'

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You know how hard it is to get your mum (or nan/dad/cat) to listen? Well, these adults have to listen to you. So there, ’The Mayor’, if that’s even your real name.

3) Gain some sweet skills (and some sweet, sweet certificates)

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All your hard work can be converted into awesome additions to your CV (which will mean opportunities, which could mean a foot in the door, a cool job, and COLD HARD CASH to spend down Cabot). This is stuff like public speaking, debating, and meeting with youth groups to work out how to represent them at the Council.

4) Get to blab about what matters to YOU

Tina Fey going OFF

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Into feminism? Or the LBGTQA+ community? Worried about class divides, racism, or what you’re taught at school? This is your chance to talk to someone who can really make a difference, directly to the source.

5) Meet some wonderful new people

Friendship dancing 'til death

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It’s great to have mates. It’s even greater to have like-minded ones you can storm the House of Commons with. You’ll probably have a laugh with them as well (in-between debating the future of the leather industry in Norway- JUST KIDDING. No one cares about that [I care about that – ed.]).

6) Attend some rad events

Air guitar on a magazine at The House of Commons

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You know I was talking about the House of Commons? That’s genuinely a place some of the old lot went to chat about national campaigns for young people. Swanky. You can also get networking at a plethora of other interesting places. Business cards at the ready, people. Other incredibly worthy things the previous reps have achieved include drawing up a sexual health charter, changing the way sex and relationships are taught in schools.

7) Be filled with a sense of enormous well-being

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All this stuff about being an incredible voice for the young people in your community can only mean good vibes for you and your future. Get involved and you can expect to meet all sorts of amazing people and get all sorts of amazing things done. Don’t let someone else take the words out of your mouth: apply now and watch the votes roll in.

If you’d like to run (and get schools and youth clubs to vote or you) you can find everything you need to apply here. All you need is to fill in a short form and a send in a very swift video. The deadline is 21st November. Good luck!

Related Links:

‘To Vote Or Not to Vote…’ by Adibah Iqbal

‘To Vote…Always to Vote…’ by Huw James

Support more young people to have their voices heard

Rife is Watershed‘s online magazine created for young people, by young people.

We offer paid internships and publish work by young writers, photographers, illustrators, and filmmakers from all sorts of backgrounds, helping them get into creative careers. Rife has reached over 8,000 young people through our workshops, over 220 young people have made stuff for Rife on topics ranging from mental health to identity to baked beans, and last year, over 200,000 people visited our website.

In these complex and uncertain times hearing from and supporting young people who are advocating for social change and contributing fresh perspectives has never been so important. 

Through supporting Rife you can ensure that this important work continues and that more young people have their voices heard.