MEMBERS OF Oldham Youth Council have been spreading the message at an international event about getting their peers involved in democracy.
Oldham Youth Mayor, Saskia Edwards, and Mariam Waseem, a youth councillor and Trustee for the British Youth Council, recently attended a symposium in Bremen, Germany.
The event was part of a European Union funded programme called ‘Intercultural Dimension for European Active Citizenship (IdeaC)’.
The programme looks at what can be done to address low turnout rate in European elections in some countries where voting is not compulsory.
Oldham Council and Oldham Youth Council were selected as one of the ten partners in the programme and have already attended events in Sicily and Budapest.
At the Bremen event delegates gave a presentation on how they are engaging young people in democratic processes at local, regional and national levels.
The presentation also explored possible reasons for low voter turnout and suggested solutions to ensuring young people are more effectively engaged in all levels of democratic life.
Saskia said: “It was an amazing opportunity to share the great work we do in Oldham and the UK and it was fantastic to see how interested the other European partners were.
“I was proud to demonstrate how Oldham has embedded a culture of youth engagement in our local democracy, as well as learning about the experiences of other young people across the EU.
“We have made some strong connections with partners in Europe and are already looking at how we can work together to further develop young people’s democratic engagement.”
Councillor Jim McMahon, Leader of Oldham Council, said: “Oldham Youth Council has developed into an effective and successful body and its great its work is being recognised internationally.
“It is vital our young people get involved in democracy so their views and ideas can be heard so they can do their bit in helping to improve the borough for future generations.”
The final stage of the programme will take place in Poland in February 2016.