Young people highlight their key priorities in annual ‘Make Your Mark’ consultation

Young people across Hampshire voted environmental issues as their top concern in this year’s ‘Make Your Mark’ consultation. Hampshire ranked second in the UK for participation in the consultation, with 17,385 votes cast in total

Mar 24 2022

Councillor Roz Chadd, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, said: “It’s fantastic to see that so many young people across Hampshire positively engaged with the consultation to highlight the issues that matter to them. The results will help to shape what the Hampshire Youth Parliament focuses on locally over the next two years, and I look forward to seeing what comes out of this as we look ahead.”

Make Your Mark is the largest youth consultation of its kind in the UK and gives all young people aged 11-18 a chance to have their say on the biggest issues facing them. This year’s consultation, which ran from 1 - 28 February, was supported across the county by 36 schools, colleges and youth groups, and nationally by the British Youth Council, UK Parliament and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Young people in Hampshire were able to vote on a number of topics through the Hampshire Youth Parliament network and, for the second year running, placed ‘Environment’ at the top of their priorities with 4,260 votes. Jobs, money, homes and opportunities came in second place with 3,532 votes and health and wellbeing followed closely behind with 3,457 votes. This aligns to the national picture, which saw health and wellbeing and jobs, money, homes and opportunities voted in first and second place respectively.

The full breakdown of the results for Hampshire is below:

  • Environment (Climate Change, Plastic Pollution) - 4,260 votes
  • Jobs, Money, Homes and Opportunities (More Training and Apprenticeships, Ending Homelessness) - 3,532 votes
  • Health and Wellbeing (Improved Access to Mental Health Support, End Food Poverty, Conversion Therapy) - 3,457 votes
  • Education and Learning (Improved Climate Education, Free University, Better Mental Health Education) - 2,706 votes
  • Poverty (End Child Poverty) - 2,019 votes
  • Our Rights and Democracy (Votes at 16, Freedom of Speech, Building a Better Relationship Between Young People and Government) - 783 votes
  • Covid-19 Recovery (Involve young people in the Recovery plan) - 628 votes

The Hampshire results will help to steer the direction of Hampshire Youth Parliament’s campaign plans from 2022-2024.

Bethan Hoggan, former Member of Youth Parliament for North East Hampshire, said: “‘We are beyond ecstatic to have had such a large amount of Hampshire’s young people take part in Make Your Mark this year. Seeing the priorities of young people will help to ensure we can make their voices heard.

"Young people have spoken time and time again to prove they want more decisive action to protect the environment, therefore, we will build on the last two years' ‘stop plastic pollution’ campaign work.

"It was also clear to see how young people wanted more work to be done on improving access to jobs, money, homes and opportunities, something that hasn’t really ranked that highly in the consultation before within Hampshire. Therefore, we will be dedicated to making sure that these concerns are raised with decision-makers too.

"The impact of Covid and lockdown on so many aspects of our lives are clear, and Hampshire Youth Parliament remain dedicated to making sure that young people in Hampshire are empowered to speak out for what they believe in.”

Hampshire Youth Parliament’s campaign plans will be published in due course on the Make Your Mark webpage.