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Getting children and young people involved: Wiltshire's Voice & Influence Team

Make Your Mark - The UK's largest youth consultation

During 2017 over 950,000 pupils took part in a national ballot, Make your Mark. This is the UK Youth Parliament’s annual ballot of 11-18-year old’s, and this year the hope is to surpass the 1 million mark. In Wiltshire schools and colleges over 7,000 votes were cast; and this year we want to increase engagement.

We are encouraging your school/college to register by 20th July, and take part in the consultation (which runs from 22nd August until 10th October 2018). Find out more here and register online here 

Since 2000, the UK Youth Parliament has provided a voice for young people to be involved in decision making. Make Your Mark gives young people aged 11-18 the chance to decide what Members of Youth Parliament should debate and vote on during their sitting in the House of Commons this November.

To support school/college participation: 

  • Resources and lesson plans have been prepared (directly linking to the Citizenship and PSHE curricula).
  • 500,000 printed ballots are being offered for free for use in assemblies, lessons or tutor groups
  • Alternative and accessible voting methods will also be available e.g. Tally Sheets, Widget version and a BSL video 

If you have any questions please contact Steve Arthur-Wallis, Youth Democracy Coordinator for the South West at the British Youth Council Alternatively, contact Leanne Field (Voice & Influence Team, Wiltshire Council) at


The UK Youth Parliament elections

Wiltshire has three seats on UKYP and candidates stand for election in the area where they attend school. 

Voting for 2018 has now closed. The results can be found here.

Wiltshire Council is committed to involving children and young people in important decisions which affect their lives. It is dedicated to ensuring that children and young people are encouraged to get involved in things that happen locally, and are heard by those making decisions about the services that they and their families receive. 

The Voice and Influence Team runs formal groups such as the Children in Care Council (CiCC) and the Wiltshire Assembly of Youth (WAY); it also gets involved in work across the Council to support the participation and involvement of children, young people and their families.

Children and young people are invited to attend strategic meetings within the Council such as the Children’s Trust Stakeholder Partnership, Wiltshire Safeguarding Children Board, and its sub-groups, Corporate Parenting Panel and Children’s Select Committee. The Voice and Influence Team helps to prepare children and young people for these meetings so that they can give their view (and the views of the children and young people they represent), and challenge Councillors and staff. All proposals and comments made by children and young people are tracked and acted upon, with regular feedback offered to them.


Judy Edwards   

More information about children and young people's voice and influence in Wiltshire can be found here.



Wiltshire Youth Summit 2017

Young people from across Wiltshire had the opportunity to share their views and ideas with key decision makers as part of a ‘Your County – Your Say’ youth summit in February 2017.
The summit at Devizes School was planned and delivered by a team of young people who work with Wiltshire Council, Healthwatch Wiltshire and Wiltshire Police.

The Youth Summit report can be downloaded here.

Your Mind Matters

Wiltshire young people have developed Your Mind Matters: Wiltshire Young People's Mental Health Charter

To respond to the recommendations for professionals schools can:

  • Ensure staff undertake relevant training to support the mental health of young people
  • Provide education about mental health, as part of PSHE education
  • Promote sources of support for young people
  • Ensure that information and support for young people is provided in a way that is young people friendly and without stigma     

Evidence to show how schools are meeting the above criteria have been included as part of the current Wiltshire Healthy Schools criteria (from May 2015).