More than a 140 students have enjoyed an exciting event aimed at increasing political awareness among young people.
Youth Politics Expo was held on March 1, at Sams Coffee House in Lowestoft, and saw students aged between 13 to 18-years-old learning more about politics, political parties and how politics impacts upon their everyday lives.
Organised by Access Community Trust (Access), in conjunction with Waveney Youth Council (WYC), the event followed on from a decision by WYC members to make increasing political awareness a key priority for this year.
Beth Stephens, Youth Enrichment Development manager at Access, said: “It was fantastic and for me it was wonderful to see that those who initially held back, came forward and were debating and discussing and asking pre-prepared questions."
“From our point of view it was great to see representatives engaging and inspiring the young people and they showed great commitment with some travelling from as far away as London.”
Throughout the day students - from Lowestoft College, Lowestoft Sixth Form College, Saxmundham Free School, Benjamin Britten Music Academy, Sir John Leman High School, Pakefield High School, Beccles Free School and Old Warren House - took advantage of the opportunity to ask questions, receive information and even challenge the representatives from various political parties and pressure groups in attendance.
Youth Politics Expo is set to be the first in a series of events promoting political awareness among young people after Access and WYC successful secured funding from Suffolk Community Foundation.
Ms Stephens added: “The aim of the event was to provide an informal environment for young people to feel more engaged with politics and to develop a clearer picture and understanding of how politics impacts their lives every day."
“At the start of the day we asked the students to write down on a scale showing how they rated their political awareness and by the end of the day an overwhelming majority said they felt they had greater understanding - which was really positive.”