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Darlington Youth Partnership

About Darlington Youth Partnership

Darlington has a Youth Partnership, the aim of which is to take forward issues that children and young people from the borough of Darlington have identified and to campaign for change to happen. The Youth Partnership aims to ask for their opinions on the important things going on in Darlington, whether it is new town developments, cuts to public spending or youth activities. We have an elected Youth MP who recently published his manifesto. The manifesto was made, using the opinions of many young people in Darlington.

Darlington youth partnership logo

Darlington Member of Youth Parliament Elliot Cook

Hello Everyone, I am Elliot the MYP for Darlington, I came in to office in March 2020 and I go to Hummersknott Academy, I was born in Darlington and live here. Students need to be heard, I can be your voice. I’m going to try hard and will get things done. But I can’t do that without your help.

We are facing a very different and new experience, although the recent events may be tough and hard to get used to, there is no option but to follow the government’s instructions. Even though the majority of the young generation can fight the virus without much problem, it doesn’t mean you can go outside and ignore the government’s restrictions. We all need to stay safe, and protect others by staying inside, I hope everyone is well and healthy. Stay safe.

Darlington Deputy Member of Youth Parliament Rowan Edwards

Hi I am Rowan, and I am DMYP for Darlington. I currently attend Longfield Academy. I believe that the world needs to be a better and more enjoyable place for children and teens in the U.K and beyond.

Many of us, myself included, have had to face tough times due to recent events. Despite this, we need to remain strong and keep our spirits high and help one another out through tough times. No matter how hard it is to g et through the situation, we will come out of this, and all we can do to stop this is stay away from others. Sometimes we all face sadness, though no matter how bad your situation, look towards the light ahead and stay positive!

Elliot and Rowan Manifesto’s

Discount card

In this day and age teenagers using the local facilities can be very expensive, this is why I will be trying to arrange a discount card, and this will reduce cost of activities and other leisure facilities for young people around town. Having a discount for young people is a must. The card will reduce the cost for facilities such as theatres cinema gyms and sports facilities. Spending time with friends and getting outdoors is at a large cost for teenagers, by introducing the card it will change that. Discussions have already started with companies in the local area to introduce the discount card, and also, who doesn’t want cheaper activities.

Mental health

Mental health is the rise. Rates of depression and anxiety among teenagers have increased by 70 per cent in the past 25 years. We need to change that. Schools have concealers and other staff to help support us, but being a student I understand how talking to a complete stranger can increase anxiety. Reducing the negative stigma around mental health issues should be one of the main priorities for the youth parliament. I’m sure all of you can see when a friends is nervous or upset, so school telling us how to spot it won’t help. We need to know how to help the person. I will aim to set up a lesson or program to teach people how to help friends or family through rough times.

Feeling anxious? Need someone to talk to?

If you are aged between 11 and 18 and live or study in Darlington and finding the current situation hard to cope with you can call a dedicated helpline being delivered by the Listening Post and Darlington Mind, from 1st April 2020.

You do not need to be already accessing or waiting to access The Listening Post or Darlington MIND to utilise this support and the service is completely free; if you need information, advice or support then please make contact via the details below and we will do what we can to help. 

The Listening Post will be offering a dedicated service from 10am - 12pm each weekday (Monday-Friday) from 1st April 2020. To access this support please contact 07847 933799 between 10am – 12pm Monday to Friday.

If the telephone line is busy or unavailable you can also contact the service via email at [email protected].

Darlington MIND will also be offering a dedicated service from 1:30 - 4:30pm each weekday (Monday-Friday) from 1st April 2020.

To access this support please contact 07432 843161 between 1:30 - 4:30pm. If the telephone line is busy or unavailable please make contact with MIND via emailing [email protected]


Kooth is an online mental wellbeing community for Young people aged 11 to 18-year olds

“I really like how you can share your problems anonymously and have help from others. It makes me feel accepted and that people will not judge Me.”

Later school starts

Staying up late doing homework and then forcing yourself out of bed in the morning is hard and sets you up for a bad day. The studies in Sweden shows by starting school at 10am halves student illness and improves grades drastically. Being a student comes with its own pressure, getting good grades having friends and keeping up with homework. Starting school later can help de-stress you for the day? I aim to make schools start later. This was proved by the study in Sweden ran by doctors and scientists. It also showed how starting school early altered the daily biological rhythms of students which is why they struggle to fall asleep before 10am and they are usually asleep closer to midnight.

Later school starts video transcript [pdf document]

Climate change

This is the most important issue to children across the world, both now and in the future. Climate change causes extreme floods and droughts across the world. The impact of this could be that people would be unable to grow the food needed to eat. It will change all of our lives, we will have to change our die climate change has life-threatening consequences. This is why we will push Darlington Borough Council to become carbon neutral by 2030, to change our future.

More information about climate change and sustainability

Internet Safety

How to report content on Social Media and get sites to remove it [pdf document]

Official e-sports team

If you are not particularly sporty, this could be for you. Games, such as Super Smash Bros, Halo and FIFA are widely played throughout our community, and are official e-sports games. Most of us across Darlington, enjoy playing videogames, and this is the reason that I would like to form an e-sports team. This team, as well as being a source of enjoyment, will help us bond together and develop teamwork. This will be an opportunity to develop social skills and anyone, no matter their race, gender, birthplace, colour, or relationships, they will be treated equally.

Young People's Plan 2017-22

We want to make sure that all children and young people growing up in Darlington get the best start in life - for example you feel safe, are healthy, are achieving at school, grow up in a caring community and enjoy life, read more about the plan

Make Your Mark

Youth Parliament [external link]

Make Your Mark 2022

During February 7 schools from across Darlington took part in the Youth Parliament's Make Your Mark Consultation.

Make Your Mark is an annual consultation of 11-18 year olds.

It aims to give young people the chance to have their say on what matters to them.

This year 10 issues were presented to young people on a ballot paper.

They had to select the most important issue to them.

The top three issues with the most votes will become the campaigns that Members of Youth Parliament work on throughout 2022-24.

National News

British Youth Council logo

UK Youth Parliament have chosen “Protect Our Future” and “Youth Action Against Knife Crime.

UK Youth Parliament [external link]

Protect Our Future

We will be campaigning to tackle the impact and continuation of climate change.

Youth Action Against Knife Crime

Knife crime is a complex issue, which will only be improved by the combination of individual action and government-level change.

More details can be found at UK youth parliament website [external link]

Why not check out our Facebook page [external link] Twitter page [external link] or contact:

Joanne Shutt
Participation Officer
[email protected]

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