Active Citizens: Virgin Voters - what's the idea?

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Ever since Scouting began, we have sought to help our young people express their opinions. It's still one of our priorities and that’s why I’m excited by the ongoing work being done to promote participation in campaigning and democracy by our Campaigns Team. From our events at the party conferences to the Scout Young Campaigner training, we hope to give our young people the skills and confidence they need to be able to speak up for Scouting and themselves.

Now, with a general election coming up, Scouting has joined forces with Oxfam GB, the UK Youth Parliament and the Hansard Society, to organise two events for young people aged 14  - 25 to talk directly with those seeking to represent them.

Based on our successful events at the political party conferences these forums will offer an informal and fun opportunity for young people to debate the issues that matter to them with each other and those seeking their support from across the political spectrum.

The event details are as follows and leaders are welcome to participate as well:

  •   Saturday 13 March 2010 in Nottingham at the  Belgrave Rooms, 25 Goldsmith Street, Nottingham NG1 5LB, 11am -1 pm
  •  Saturday 20 March 2010 in London at The Central Hall Westminster, Storey's Gate, London, SW1H 9NH, 11am to 1pm.

We want as many young people and leaders as possible who would like to participate in Active Citizens: Virgin Voters to do so.  That’s why we are offering a travel bursary of up to £30 for every young person who is travelling more than 20 miles. We will also be providing refreshments on the day and there are even great prizes to be won for those who show real passion for their subjects and for Scouting!

This is a unique opportunity for our young people to influence future policy makers so if you can help young people attend simply email citizen@scout.org.uk with the words Nottingham or London (or both!) in the title.

We will shortly be publishing a campaigning toolkit to help local Groups speak up for Scouting as well as a web forum. I hope that all Leaders will encourage their members to have their say and use these forums to speak up for Scouting!

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