THE VOICE of Darlington’s youth is getting ready to make his mark on the town.
The town’s newly elected Youth MP, Danny Brown, is keen to make real changes for the young people he will represent for the next two years.
The enthusiastic 14-year-old took up his seat in the UK’s Youth Parliament after netting 791 votes in an election held on Tuesday.
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Along with six other candidates, Danny spent a month campaigning for a seat in the Parliament, which aims to give support and a voice to young people across the country.
The Longfield Academy student is now bubbling over with plans to improve the lives of young people in the town.
His goals include setting up a text messaging service to help teens with health worries, tackling youth unemployment and organising more activities for young people in a bid to reduce crime.
He said: “I wasn’t expecting to win but I’m really happy and hope I can make big changes in Darlington.
“I’ve always been interested in using my voice and now I can try and make a difference with it.
“I just want to improve things, I think the town is a lot harder for youths to live in now, because of things like budget cuts and I want to do something to tackle that.
“I think Darlington would be a lot different if it did not have opportunities like this for young people to share their voices as we can get overlooked if we’re not given chance to have our say.
“This is going to be an excellent experience and I think things will grow from here.”
The runner-up in Tuesday’s elections – which attracted the biggest turnout since the Youth MP campaign began in Darlington - was 16-year-old Josh Wakeford from Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College, who will now act as Danny’s deputy.
He said: “It was great to get so many votes and I’m looking forward to working to change attitudes about young people as at the moment, they’re not particularly positive.
“To get young people active and doing more in the community, you have to get older people to accept them as well.”
Both Danny and Josh hope to stay involved in politics in the future.
Josh said: “I’ve always been interested in politics. I study it at college and want to be involved with something that can make real changes.”