Wednesday, January 25th, 2017.

Youth Council Elections Nominees left to right: Stephanie Downs, Earika Karki, Zara Rizwan, Ayah Elsharif, Kacey Bell and Mr Smith.

Election fever will grip Excelsior Academy tomorrow when pupils cast their votes to decide who will be their voices on the prestigious Newcastle Youth Council.

Every pupil in Hadrian, Milburn and Collingwood schools as well as Excelsior College, will have the opportunity to vote for a candidate to represent them on the council.

Newcastle Youth Council is elected to represent young people and their views across the city.

It is currently working to get new facilities at five parks in Newcastle and Gosforth and is looking to improve work experience opportunities in schools through an Industry Week showcase of taster sessions.

Ballot boxes will be in place throughout Excelsior Academy on Thursday to collect votes – with the boxes sealed at school closing time and sent to Newcastle Civic Centre.

There the votes will be counted and The Lord Mayor of Newcastle Hazel Stephenson will formally announce the election results at an event in the council chamber on Friday.

All election candidates have been formally invited to attend the event to hear the results.

Excelsior’s five candidates hoping to represent pupils’ views on the Youth Council are:

  • Kacey Bell – Milburn
  • Ayah Elsharif – Milburn
  • Stephanie Downs – Excelsior College
  • Earika Karki – Excelsior College
  • Zara Rizwan – Collingwood

Zara Rizwan – Collingwood

 “I would like to make the city a better place by offering help and support for young people, organising events to raise money for youth projects for young people to attend, as well as enjoy. I would be working to improve the transport system for young people.”

Stephanie Downs – Excelsior College

 “I would be honoured if I could act as a middleman to the kids and teens of the city, and be the one to take their views and opinions to the older generation. I want everybody to know that one person’s view isn’t necessarily their own. Be yourself, speak for the youth… I know I will.”

Kacey Bell – Milburn

“I would like to represent Newcastle on the Youth Parliament because I will work hard to change the prospects for young people in Newcastle. If elected I would like to improve youth facilities across the city and tackle bullying and discrimination in schools.”

Ayah Elsharif – Milburn

“I want to make sports facilities cheaper or even free for young people. This will encourage young people to use facilities like swimming pools helping people to be fit and healthy. Bus tickets should be cheaper as young people should be encouraged to travel around our city and see the history and culture Newcastle has to offer.”

Earika Karki – Excelsior College

“I think there must be more assembly in school to spread awareness about road safety, mental health and personal health. We must actively involve students. Not only that I want our community sport clubs to makes their prices cheaper so every student can afford it as this will benefit their health and enjoy the same facilities that other students enjoy from privileged backgrounds.”

James Smith, Subject Development Leader for PSHE/RE, who is leading Excelsior’s election process, said: “The election is an excellent opportunity for the candidates from Excelsior to play a key role in dealing with youth issues across the city, so I encourage every pupil to use their vote and back the person they think will best represent their views.”