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Young lead the way on child poverty with manifesto

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Young lead the way on child poverty with manifesto

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Communities and also in Finance, Health

Young lead the way on child poverty with manifesto Young lead the way on child poverty with manifesto

A group of young people from South Tyneside are working on a national 'Children’s Manifesto' to tackle child poverty.

The four students joined other young people from the North East, Manchester, Liverpool and Tower Hamlets at a workshop held at South Tyneside Council’s Thurston Outdoor Education Centre in the Lake District where they thrashed out their strategy.

Willow Simons, Kate Palmer, Lucy Bell and Emma True - who are all members of Friends Against Bullying and the Junior Local Safeguarding Children's Board (LSCB) - are also working with Oxford PhD student Rys Farthing to examine the issue of child poverty.

The group's ideas in their draft manifesto include providing the first school uniform free of charge and using anonymous uniform banks as well as offering free school travel for pupils on free school meals.

In order to increase youth participation in politics, they are calling for politics to be incorporated into the education system, the voting age to be reduced to 16 and a percentage of MPs to represent young people.

Once the strategy is complete, the group will present their manifesto to an all-party parliamentary group. They will then be tasked with implementing their ideas and campaigning with their respective local authorities.

Councillor Joan Atkinson, lead member for children, young people and families at South Tyneside Council, said: “I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling an immense sense of pride in these young people whose work could feed directly into national policy.

“I was very keen for South Tyneside to get involved with this initiative after I visited the Child Action Poverty Group and met Rys last year. Although all local authorities were invited to take part in this initiative, only a handful decided to take part and I’m so pleased that we are one of them.

“Our young people have shown a firm grasp of the issue of child poverty and their original ideas have highlighted them as superb ambassadors for the borough.”

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