Brando Halloum, aged 14, was elected by more than 9,000 young people, aged 11-18, from across the Harrogate & Craven District during February 2022 as part of the MYP (Make Your Mark) vote which took place in schools. Members of the Youth Parliament (MYPs) are elected every two years.
Nationally, there are currently over 300 elected MYPs. Brando will join other elected MYPs from Yorkshire, regularly travelling across the country to collaborate and represent the voice of young people in our area, discuss issues, debate policies and plan events, and a national campaign with the support of government ministers.
The UK Youth Parliament is run by the British Youth Council (BYC) and is the only national organisation that gives young people a chance to elect their peers.
Brando’s 2022 manifesto highlighted three main priorities for his two-year term, which starts on today, 11th March 2022.
Fair and equal treatment
Proactively responding to discrimination of race, gender, sexuality, or religion. Brando pledges to campaign for a responsive PSHE curriculum and enhanced peer to peer education in schools to ensure everyone is proud of themselves & feel supported in their expression of self.
Positive health and wellbeing
As we experience an unprecedented emotional health crisis that affects everyone and every aspect of our community, Brando acknowledges just how emotional health is as vital as physical wellbeing. He promises to highlight how language can reduce stigma and signpost youth-led support and resources.
Confidence in our future
The ongoing health and environmental crisis disproportionately impacts Brando’s generation. As MYP, Brando will investigate funding towards youth services, ensuring that no one is left behind and that no decisions about youth services are made without youth.
Brando’s appointment comes at a crucial time as the Harrogate & Craven District and the whole world emerges from the last two years of a pandemic that affected children and young people disproportionately, as they faced repeated lockdowns and shifts to home-schooling, isolating them from their friends, classrooms and extracurricular activities.
Brando is a Year 9 student at Harrogate Grammar School, moving to the area in Year 5 after attending his Primary School years living in the United Arab Emirates. As a vocal member of the Harrogate Youth Council, school sports, the debating team and as an RAF Cadet, Brando has been actively involved in humanitarian causes and has a keen interest in politics.
Brando is of British Lebanese heritage and believes his cultural background and experiences will bring greater diversity and the necessary confidence to facilitate discussions between youth parliament, youth councils and schools to consider all experiences, challenges and aspirations of young people and portray greater representation in his role. He is a tenacious character who will fight the side of young people on the pressing issues faced by his generation.
Brando is thankful to all young people who voted for him. He was thrilled that so many schools participated, stating “politics should not be for a select few individuals but accessible to everyone” Brando gets frustrated when he hears some of his classmates and even adults say, “I don’t care about politics.” Instead, Brando wants to show people that Politics is about our school curriculum, how you get a job, where we are housed, how we travel to school, our safety, our relationship with the police, our community facilities and social lives and our health services. Brando believes young people are inherently interested in societal and environmental issues and are passionate about how the world works around them, “What they are probably less interested in is the political system and what they see that to be”.
Brando wants to show how young people’s concerns are political. With those concerns, he will strive to show young people how they can affect change using the UK Youth Parliament and the British Youth Council’s political tools.
“We all have ideas and a vision of how things could be better on these things”, and Brando wants to hear about it.