YOUNG politicians have won national recognition for their work.
Six former members of Sunderland Youth Parliament have won The Diana Award, which is presented annually to exceptional young people who make an outstanding contribution to improving their communities.
Jonathan Kilner, Katrina Sugden, Jack Mason, Naomi Robson, Hannah Collins and Misba ul Islam, who all recently started their university careers, were each presented with their awards by the Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Norma Wright.
The awards are national recognition of their efforts to represent the views of young people in Sunderland on the local, regional and national political stage.
Hannah, 18, from East Herrington, said: “I was shocked to hear I was getting the award. My family texted me on holiday to tell me the news and as you can imagine we’re all over the moon.”
The Hull University student, who is a former pupil at Farringdon School, added: “I don’t think it is any coincidence that after being so closely involved with the Sunderland Youth Parliament that five of us are studying politics at university.”
Misba, 18, a former Thornhill School pupil, who is studying politics at Sunderland University, said: “I certainly didn’t expect this but I’m really pleased. I gained a lot of skills during my time with the parliament. It gave me the confidence not only to take part in, but also to arrange workshops at a number of events and experience campaigning at first hand.”
Former chairman of the Sunderland Youth Parliament, Jonathan, 18, from High Barnes, who is studying politics at Durham University, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled by this award. It was totally unexpected.”
Sunderland Youth Parliament meets every week to provide young people with the chance to debate issues affecting their lives.
Coun Pat Smith, Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for children and learning city, said: “We are proud of all our young people, for their achievements and for their contribution to the life of our city.
“I am delighted that six people who served on Sunderland Youth Parliament with such distinction have received such high profile recognition of their efforts.”