Libby is 18, from Stockport and is an Our Pass member. She set up her campaign, youthful4politics, to help provide political education for young people.
Hi Libby! How’s it going? You run a campaign designed to get young people better informed about political issues.
Tell us about the youthful4politics campaign!
The aim is to educate young people on politics. We are surrounded by politics in day-to-day life and yet there isn’t education on it in schools.
Young people are the future generation, the future decision makers, making it unfair that they aren’t politically educated as it not only limits their knowledge, but also the ways in which they can express their beliefs or have their voices heard.
Where can we find you?
What does your campaign activity consist of?
Every other week, I create a post on Instagram covering political issues, and frequently ask followers of the campaign for things they want to learn about. This has consisted of a wide variety of topics, from how to register to vote, to a mini-series on political ideologies.
There is no limit to the political subject matter the campaign can inform young people on, and they can also message the account and I will do a post on it in the future.
How long have you been doing it for?
I started the campaign in May 2020 and since then have done 30 posts. The campaign has gone further than I thought, and I am happy at the response that it has received, and that young people are able to be more educated on political topics that they are interested in.
I started my campaign in May last year on Instagram and have only recently decided to start it on twitter as well in order to reach out to more young people and help them to learn more about politics.
Were you doing something similar before you decided to start youthful4politics?
Before I started my campaign I was a member of Stockport Youth Council and a deputy member of Youth Parliament for Stockport. Political education was part of my manifesto. I then became a Member of Youth Parliament from late 2020 to the end of Feb 2021. Before that, I sat on a question time panel alongside MPs. On which I expressed the importance of political education.
I’ve always felt that I wanted to help others and decided to do this through the youthful4politics campaign, to create a political platform that was set up by a young person for young people. And what makes it stand out is that it educates young people on what they want to learn.
I also attended the Annual Conference for Youth Parliament in 2020 where I again supported the idea of political education. To me, personally, politics should already be in compulsory education today, as it is such a big and important part of society.
Have you had any support to help you set up your business?
My family and friends have been very supportive in promoting my campaign. Stockport Youth Council have also assisted with the content by helping come up with ideas for future posts, and what they believe young people need more from their political education.
Followers of the campaign have been great and frequently request different topics alongside promoting the campaign to raise more awareness of its presence.
What do you use to research?
I research using the gov.uk website and through my own revision. Some posts require more research than others, particularly the mini-series like the political ideas one and the current mini-series that looks at different electoral systems.
I always try to ensure the information provided is accurate but also easily understood, though politics is often portrayed as more complicated than it really is.
What do you like most about your business?
The followers are by far what I enjoy the most, as they are supportive and eager to learn. The campaign links a lot to learning and I feel passionately about political education, so I love helping others learn about politics – particularly on how they can make a difference, which is possible for anyone when you put your mind to it!
Alongside this, I like putting the posts together as I myself learn new things that I didn’t know about before. Running this campaign helps me to view politics from different perspectives – from how it’s portrayed in the media to how people perceive it, and then how it is implanted in day-to-day life.
Do you have any top moments from running your campaign that you can share with us?
Sometimes when I’ve done posts on topics suggested by followers, I have received lovely feedback like ‘thank you for your hard work!’ which really encourages me to keep trying to grow the campaign and reach as many young people as possible.
Being able to educate young people more on politics and helping to make a difference is a great reward from this campaign. As well as receiving a highly commended award for best social action project from youth focus North West in 2020.
What words of advice do you have for people reading?
If you want to see a difference in society as you believe something is missing, you can make that change. Even if something seems impossible you can make it possible. It is hard like most things, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t face the challenge. You can do it especially when you put your mind to it.
I hope the youthful4politics campaign continues to grow and can be seen as an example that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.