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Make your mark 2024 topics with young people thinking about their priority issues

The UK's Largest Youth Consultation

Make Your Mark is the largest national consultation of young people in the United Kingdom. It’s an opportunity for young people aged 11-18 to have their say and help make a difference on the issues that matter to them.

Voting in Staffordshire in open Monday 5th February – Friday 1st March 2024.

This project is powered by the British Youth Council; made possible with support from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport; implemented locally by Staffordshire Council of Voluntary Youth Services.

Watch the video below to find out more.

What's on the ballot in 2024?

Ten issues will be presented to you on a ballot paper. You will vote in school/college/youth groups and the three topics with the most votes become the newly elected Members of Youth Parliament’s campaign themes for their two year term.

Make Your Mark 2024 asks young people to select their priority issue from:

  • Education and Learning
  • International Relations
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Rights, Equalities, and Democracy
  • Jobs, the Economy, and Benefits
  • Crime and Safety
  • Culture, Media, Sport
  • Climate Change and the Environment
  • Transport
  • Youth Work and Young People’s Services

Staffordshire’s largest and most influential youth collective, Staffordshire Youth Union (SYU), support youth voice locally and seek to influence and make positive change to improve the lives of young people. Make Your Mark is instrumental in their work representing the young people of Staffordshire on local, regional and national levels which is why we need to hear from you!

If you are interested in joining Staffordshire Youth Union, please register your interest using the form on the SYU page. To be eligible to stand to become a Member of Youth Parliament for Staffordshire, you must first become an elected member of Staffordshire Youth Union.

To find out more about UK Youth Parliament visit the British Youth Council website.

Make sure you have your say!

In 2022 over 434,492 votes determined the top three issues for young people across the UK:

  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Jobs, Money, Homes & Opportunities
  • Education and Learning

From the results, the national campaign ‘Food for Learning’ was developed which has focussed on food poverty across the UK.

Previous Make Your Mark results have led to national campaigns including:

  • Stop Plastic Pollution
  • Mental Health: a movement for change
  • Action Against Knife Crime

How do I take part?

We are inviting all schools, colleges and youth groups to participate so we can reach as many young people as possible and make their voice heard.

If your educational setting/youth organisation will be taking part in the ballot, please email Sean Turner, Youth Engagement Co-ordinator, so we can keep track of submissions.

There are 3 ways you can take part:

  • Online voting (open to all young people aged 11-18 across Staffordshire)
  • Paper ballot (provided by SCVYS – limited numbers available)
  • Paper ballot (held independently and results reported to SCVYS)


There is limited availability for SCVYS to help facilitate the vote in your setting. Please contact us to make this request.

Young voters campaigning

Setting up your Polling Station

Voting can take place either as a whole school/college/youth organisation (you may wish to use a school hall or sports centre) or it could be in smaller groups, for example, each tutor group votes in their own classroom and the results are then compiled.

You need to think about how quiet the space is, how students will flow in and out of the space, where they will collect
their ballot paper, where will they vote and where they will deposit their completed ballot?

You will need:

Tables and chairs, polling booths, ballot pencils/string, statutory notices, signs (polling station, way in/out), register of pupils voting, ballot papers, ballot box.

We encourage students/young people to be involved in running the vote. There are multiple roles required for Polling Day to run smoothly; you may want to select a Polling Station Supervisor and multiple Poll Station Officers either from each year or a team for the whole vote. 

Below we have outlined the duties of each role which should be carried out with the assistance of staff/volunteers:

Polling Station Supervisor:

  • Help to organise the layout of the polling station
  • Seal the ballot box
  • Open the polling station
  • Be polite and professional in dealing with voters
  • Act impartially at all times
  • Be responsible for ballot papers and the ballot box
  • Ensure the proper procedure for voting is followed
  • Issue ballot papers to voters
  • Keep the polling station neat and tidy
  • Ensure that all signs and notices are clear, visible and remain in place.

Polling Station Officer:

  • Assist with the layout of the polling station and prepare for the opening of the poll
  • Be polite and professional in dealing with voters
  • Act impartially at all times
  • Issue ballot papers to voters
  • Check and mark electors in the register of electors (for example, a class register)
  • Ensure that voters cast their votes in secret
  • Maintain the secrecy of the ballot at all times

What happens after the votes are cast?

All counted votes must be reported to Staffordshire Council of Voluntary Youth Services (SCVYS) who are responsible for administering Make Your Mark. Online votes will be recorded and sent to the British Youth Council automatically, although SCVYS should still be notified that a setting has held the ballot.



  • Staffordshire Youth Union and Members of Youth Parliament discuss, debate and take action based on the results and priorities of the young people of Staffordshire. This includes creating campaigns and taking action to address the issues highlighted.
  • Staffordshire Council of Voluntary Youth Services (SCVYS) produce a report based on the results locally. It gives a countywide overview, and also provides a breakdown of results for each district and borough council area. Schools, colleges and youth organisations who hold Make Your Mark and report their results to SCVYS will be highlighted within the report and receive a copy for feedback and follow on work in their setting. 
  • The results and report are distributed and presented to various strategic partnerships locally, in order to inform and influence decision and policy makers, affect the way funds are distributed and services commissioned. Strategic partners include; Staffordshire County Council, our 8 District & Borough Councils, NHS partners including Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust & North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare Trust, the Violence Reduction Alliance and Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) and more.
  • UK Youth Parliament will take forward the most voted issues to their Annual Sitting and will vote to decide which issue(s) to base the national campaign on. This will be co-produced with experts, organisations and charities alongside the newly elected Members of Youth Parliament.


  • British Youth Council produce a report detailing the national results. Total numbers of votes and voter turnout as a percentage of eligible 11-18 year old voters is given for each Local Authority area, and Staffordshire’s results are grouped within the West Midlands region.


  • Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (UK Government) and other key national figures and influential bodies use the report as a way of listening to the voices and priorities of young people.

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