Laura Spurgeon, a 14 year old student at Admiral Lord Nelson School in Portsmouth, was elected as a member of the UK Youth Parliament at the Council of Portsmouth Students (CoPS) summit earlier this week. Laura was the clear winner out of 12 candidates in the hotly contested election. In her new role she will be mentored by Portsmouth City Council and a member of the school's governing body.
Speaking shortly after being elected, Laura said: "I was shocked to learn that I'd won, and then excited and thankful to be given the opportunity to speak for young people in Portsmouth. Many young people are passionate about the future but feel our views are discarded and our voice is not heard. I'm looking forward to getting out and speaking to young people and finding out their views on a range of issues such as mental health, voting at 16 and LGBT education."
Alison Jeffery, Director of Children Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council, said: "This is fantastic news and I'd like to congratulate Laura on her well-deserved success. Listening to the views of young people is important to the council so as well as her national work with the UK Youth Parliament, we look forward to Laura being able to strengthen the way local services reflect their views too. The competition was strong and the other candidates should also feel proud of their passion and commitment to making a difference."
UK Youth Parliament provides opportunities for 11-18 year olds to use their elected voice to bring about social change through meaningful representation and campaigning. All Members of Youth Parliament meet nationally twice a year at the UK Youth Parliament Annual Sitting and UK Youth Parliament House of Commons Sitting.