Driffield News

Freya is Driffield’s first representative in UK Youth Parliament

A student from Driffield School & Sixth Form will represent the East Riding on the UK Youth Parliament after she was declared the winner of a county-wide election.

Year 8 student Freya Edwards, 13, was one of 25 candidates who stood for election in the East Riding’s first youth parliament vote for 10 years.

Young people aged 11-18 from across the area voted to choose two candidates and two deputies during February, with the sole focus on the students’ manifestoes and pledges.

The individuals who stood remained anonymous until the results of the election were announced at Beverley Memorial Hall.

Nearly 2,500 votes were cast in the east section of the East Riding, which Freya will represent with deputy Tegan Broomhead, of East Riding College in Bridlington.

Freya campaigned on the following issues:

• Better support for children with behaviour issues

• More time/money spent on extracurricular lessons

• Free sanitary products for girls and women.

She was presented with a certificate by Councillor Jonathan Owen, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council and East Wolds and Coastal ward councillor.

Freya told the Wolds Weekly that she can’t wait to make a difference on behalf of young people in the area.

“I’m really excited to be representing the East Riding on the UK Youth Parliament and looking forward to it,” said Freya.

“I decided to stand as a candidate after sitting in an assembly at school.

Freya alongside fellow Driffield candidates Anna Cseh, Emili Staves, Owen Thomas-Mason and Joseph Staves, as well as ERYC’s Jonathan Owen and Caroline Lacey.

“I’m quite interested in politics and thought ‘let’s just see how this goes’ and it’s gone really well.

“I led my manifesto on extra time and money on extra-curricular lessons, free sanitary products for women and girls and more support for people who have difficulty with their behaviour.

“These could be ways that school life could be improved and it would be a safer and happier place to be.

“It’s a chance to make a difference and it’s an opportunity to perhaps have a career in politics in the future.”

Before votes were cast at Driffield School & Sixth Form, students learned about the electoral process and the manifestoes of the candidates.

The school also had four other candidates on the ballot paper – Owen Thomas-Mason, Anna Cseh, Joseph Staves and Emili Staves.

Mr McDonald, who coordinated the elections at the school, was beaming with pride after the results of the vote were declared and said he hopes Freya is the first of many Youth Parliament representatives from Driffield.

East Riding Youth Elections 2022

“We’re extremely proud that Freya will be representing Driffield School & Sixth Form on the UK Youth Parliament,” said Mr McDonald, Head of Mortimer House.

“We didn’t expect to win when we came to the declaration and all the candidates have done brilliantly just by taking part, but to have a member elected is absolutely amazing.

“I believe Freya will be the first representative from Driffield School and she’s certainly the only student I’ve known to be elected in the 15 years I have worked at the school.

“We had five candidates from Driffield, which is an amazing turnout and we’re really proud of all of them and hopefully they will get involved in the future too.

“We’re expecting big things of young Freya now and can’t wait to follow her journey and support her wherever we can.

“The students embraced the elections and we ran assemblies during the week leading up to the vote.

“All the candidates’ manifestoes were shown during form time and we ensured as many students voted as possible.

“There was a good turnout, which we were really pleased with and hopefully everyone at the school will be inspired by Freya.

“I can’t wait to go back and tell everyone that Driffield has had a candidate elected and fingers crossed we will have more in the future.”

Due to the large number of candidates, the election was split into two geographical areas east and west.
The representative in the west will be Aonpreeya Petchatchua, of South Hunsley School, with Thomas Edmiston, of Hymers College, acting as her deputy.

After being impressed by the candidates and their campaigns, Councillor Owen predicts big futures for the youngsters.

“I think that the state the world is currently in, everyone has a view on politics,” he said.

“We have just lived through COVID and what an experience that was for all youngsters to go through, especially with their education.

“They have also seen what is happening in Europe and they all have strong opinions.

“It’s nice that their views can be put forward at this age. They are really enthusiastic and I have been so impressed by the candidates.

“The manifestoes were fantastic and all included issues that are current, such as climate change and their rights as youngsters.

Cllr Jonathan Owen with Freya Edwards

“I can see many people in this room having a future career in politics or a very good career in other areas.

“This is a great first step into politics for them. For those who were not successful, they can see how the electoral system works.

“We’ve all lost elections in our time, but you come back and carry on.

“I’m sure many of the candidates will and the ones I have spoken to have on intention of giving up. I wish them all the luck in the world.”

The UK Youth Parliament was launched at the House of Commons in July 2009 and held its first sitting in February 2011.

There are currently over 350 elected MYPs in the UK, who are elected biannually and serve a two-year term of office to become the voice of young people in the East Riding on a local, regional and national level.

If an MYP is forced to give up their position, the deputy MYP with the next highest vote will become MYP.

Should either an MYP or DMYP turn 19 years of age during their period in office, they must step down on the day before their 19th birthday.

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please allow ads on our site Ads help pay for our website and content. Switch off your ad-blocker and enjoy.