Youngsters outline views at Parliament

Youngsters from the Barnardo's The Base in Whitley Bay.
Youngsters from the Barnardo's The Base in Whitley Bay.

A group of young people have visited Westminster to highlight issues facing teenagers.

The youngsters, including care leavers from Barnardo’s The Base in Whitley Bay, visited the House of Commons as part of Youth Action WorX.

During the visit, sponsored by Tynemouth MP Alan Campbell and supported by North Tyneside MP Mary Glindon, the 13 young people presented their own campaign to influence policy about youth unemployment, with specific emphasis on young people in care.

The week before the group visited the European parliament in Brussels.

Justine Carmichael, senior practitioner at The Base, said: “Brussels offered the young people a fantastic opportunity to learn more about what happens in the European Parliament.

“They learned more about democratic processes, which has put them in a stronger position to campaign for the best interests of young people in the ‘looked after’ system.”

The campaign aims to eliminate the gap between children who have been in the care system, and those brought up by their families.

Mr Campbell said: “It is marvellous that this group of young people from Barnardo’s are so engaged and active, bringing the reality of their experiences to Parliament.

“Government needs to listen carefully to their message – as a society we must improve things for care leavers. It’s simply not good enough that ‘looked after’ young people all too often start their adult lives at a massive disadvantage compared to their peers.”