Published Monday 20 November 2023 at 17:46
After two years of success Blackburn with Darwen’s Youth MP is stepping away from his political duties and retiring, aged 18.
Muhammed Bapu has been able to make changes and use his voice to support and implement changes for the borough’s young people.
He represented and raised issues as well as making an impact as Youth MP, and his work included working with Lancashire Police to develop the new County Lines Campaign, attended the MYP House of Commons sitting and campaigned on the need for vaccines throughout the pandemic.
Born in Blackburn, the former Roe Lee Park Primary School pupil also set up the BwD Young Inspectors programme following being involved in the national programme online during the pandemic and inspected a number of organisations such as the British Youth Council.
It has been a true honour to have been able to represent this great borough as Youth MP and Deputy, over the past almost four years.
It has been an amazing experience, I have learnt and developed a lot, and have met some great people along the way – which is one of the added benefits of being involved in youth voice.
One thing that I am confident about, is that Youth Voice and Young People are at the heart of decision making in Blackburn with Darwen.
Muhammed won the Mayoral Award in 2021 and has been the lead on the Wellbeing Champions Project which came about through consultation on young people’s mental health through the pandemic – this is still being implemented by Child Action North West. He chaired the monthly SYA Youth Forum but Muhammed facilitated the Takeover Challenge events on Mental Health and the Climate Summit and won the One Voice young person of the year award.
I’d like to especially thank Liz Clarkson, Cllr Julie Gunn, and all the YPS team for their support and mentorship during my time as Youth MP. I wish the next Youth MP, Deputies, and Youth Forum cohort the best of luck – and look forward to seeing the continued success.
Muhammed also said he may return to politics in the future, but he recently completed his final task as Blackburn with Darwen’s Youth MP attending the House of Commons Youth MP sitting.
He will now concentrate on completing a Level 4 Commercial Procurement and Supply Operations Apprenticeship at Carvansons – a global fragrance and perfume manufacturing company, based in Haslingden.
My advice for the next Youth MP is to enjoy every moment in the role, absorb all the information and knowledge available to you, and most importantly be focused on achieving the best outcomes for young people.
Councillor Julie Gunn, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, said:
I would like to add my personal thanks to Muhammed who has been a wonderful Youth MP and Deputy Youth MP before that. It has been a privilege to work with him over that last three and a half years and witness his passion and commitment to the role. Mo has been a proud advocate for all young people in the borough and has represented us at a national level with professionalism. Muhammed’s legacy is wide reaching, from the Young Inspectors programme to the work encouraging the uptake of Covid vaccinations, to the Wellbeing Champions. On behalf of BwD thank you Muhammed and I look forward to your future successes.”
The next Youth MP will be elected early next year when the Youth Elections take place at the end of January, lasting for two weeks, across all secondary schools, colleges and youth organisations.