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01st October 2019
In April 2019 I was selected to become one of ten delegates from Girlguiding to the British Youth Council (BYC), representing Girlguiding Anglia. The application process was long and included an extensive application form and interview.
I first met the other regional delegates in May. We discussed inclusivity and selected the Honorary Presidents and Policy Motions we wished to put forward at the Annual Council Meeting (ACM). This work continued at our next meeting in July in readiness for the ACM of the BYC in September.
Every year at the ACM the BYC delegates propose new Policy Motions that are voted on by other delegates. If a Policy Motion achieves a majority vote it is put into the British Youth Council manifesto. Alongside Policy Motions, three Honorary Presidents are also nominated and elected at the ACM. These Honorary Presidents are MPs (one from each of the three largest parties in Parliament) who promote the BYC’s manifesto in Parliament. The ACM also provides an invaluable chance for BYC delegates to network with each other, as well as debate their policy motions and participate workshops related to current issues.
This year’s ACM in September was held at Aston University in Birmingham. The first evening was spent networking with the Scout delegation in order to promote support between our two groups for our respective policy motions, which were to be debated the next day. The next morning was spent on organizational business, examining the annual accounts, electing officials and the new UK EU Youth Ambassador. The afternoon consisted of workshops and the Honorary President elections. I nominated, proposed and spoke on behalf of Anna Turley, the Labour MP for Redcar, and was thrilled when she was selected with a large majority. Another Girlguiding nominee, Angela Crawley (SNP) was also elected and all our policy motions were passed. These comprised making menstrual products sustainable/biodegradable, legislating the fast fashion industry to reduce waste and pollution, and limiting celebrity endorsement of diet products and banning those products from sale to people under 18. All in all, it was a highly successful day for Girlguiding!
The ACM was one of the most empowering events I’ve participated in, and it lifted my hopes for the future. It was, importantly, a very inclusive event, with spaces designed for mental wellbeing, prayer rooms, vegan/vegetarian food as standard, all impairments being catered for, and no gender barriers. Hearing so many delegates speaking so eloquently and seeing young people come together to fight for what matters was inspirational, and really motivated me to help make more of a difference.
You can find further information on:
The BYC delegation at Girlguiding: https://www.girlguiding.org.uk/girls-making-change/were-speaking-out/british-youth-council-delegates/
The British Youth Council:
Anna Ward (Year 11) on being elected to the British Youth Council