Teen pair are new voices for Sunderland youth on national stage

Joshua McKeith, left, and Dane Bainbridge.
Joshua McKeith, left, and Dane Bainbridge.

Two teenagers are celebrating after being elected to be representatives for Sunderland youngsters on a national stage.

Dane Bainbridge and Joshua McKeith, both 17, were recently announced as the winning candidates in the UK Youth Parliament elections.

Joshua McKeith and Dane Bainbridge (far left and second from left) with the Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Doris MacKnight,  Simon Marshall from Together for Children and members of Sunderland Youth Parliament.

Joshua McKeith and Dane Bainbridge (far left and second from left) with the Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Doris MacKnight, Simon Marshall from Together for Children and members of Sunderland Youth Parliament.

Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Doris MacKnight, announced the results at a ceremony held in Sunderland City Council chambers.

As the city’s elected MYPs, Members of the Youth Parliament, Dane and Joshua will now go on to represent the young people of Sunderland on a national stage for the next two years.

The role includes identifying and voicing the issues that are most important to Sunderland’s young people, liaising with other MYPs across the country to co-ordinate campaigns and attending annual House of Commons debates.

Dane, a St Robert of Newminster pupil, said: “It is extremely humbling to be elected as a representative of young people in the city.”

It is extremely humbling to be elected

Dane Bainbridge

Meanwhile, Joshua, a student at Monkwearmouth Academy, added: “I am excited about becoming an MYP, to put in action the voices of children and young people in Sunderland.”

Thirteen candidates, aged from 12 to 18, from across Sunderland put themselves forward for the two available seats this year and more than 5,748 young people cast their vote in the elections.

The election process was organised by Together for Children, which will now work with the newly elected MYPs to support them as they undertake their new role.

Coun MacKnight, said: “I’d like to extend my sincere congratulations to Dane and Joshua. I’m sure they will both make a very positive impact in their new role as MYPs.

“I’d also like to commend the other 11 young candidates who put themselves forward for these elections and thank our outgoing MYPs, Rachel Krajovska, Thomas Crawford and

deputy Lesedi Mphisa who have all done a sterling job during their time in the role.

“It is great to see that so many of our city’s young people are keen to get involved and make a difference.”

Sue Carty, Acting Chief Executive at Together for Children, said: “Children and young people are at the heart of everything we do as an organisation and it is fantastic that we are able to help Sunderland youngsters to have their voice and opinions heard on a national stage.

“I’m sure that Dane and Joshua will do a fantastic job as our city’s new representatives and I look forward to seeing their achievements over their two years in office as well as supporting them along the way.”