Cheadle Hulme Sixth Form student Rodrigo Palmer visited Parliament earlier this month, as part of his commitments to the British Youth Council. An elected member of UK Youth Parliament, the former St James’ Catholic High School student spoke in the chamber, to outline plans for free school meals, for all children across the UK.
The Year 12 student joined the Stockport Youth Council during the pandemic and has flourished in his role to support local and national campaigns on climate change and reducing inequalities across society.
Rodrigo is fully committed to his A Level studies at Cheadle Hulme Sixth Form and has long term aspirations of becoming a Member of Parliament.
Since being a Youth Councillor, Rodrigo has spoken in assemblies about his campaigns, held surgeries in school and worked with School Councillors to ensure that young people are heard and listened to through a democratic process.
Throughout the afternoon in Parliament, young people from across the country debated on:
- Holiday Hunger
- Quality of Food
- Finance and Funding
- Additional Pricing
Approximately twenty Members of Youth Parliament (MYPs) from across Greater Manchester attended, with Rodrigo being one of two MYPs representing Stockport.
During his speech, Rodrigo said:
“There are a lot of young people that are losing faith in democracy, and that is what I, and everyone here, are here to disprove. We all know that Free School Meals is a paramount example of making sure that change can happen and showing that our democracy can work.
“Additional Pricing not only ensures that people who aren’t covered with free school meals can get some other things as well, it means that people outside of school, outside of school hours, are covered. We need to make sure that we can protect those that are most vulnerable. The welfare state is crumbling, and we need to make sure that we have something to hold it together to protect the most vulnerable in our society.
“I say that we make sure that democracy works for young people and that is why I fully support this motion. Thank you very much.”
As a serving member of the Stockport Youth Council, Rodrigo is passionate about challenging the state of UK politics and championing young people to have a voice, restore their faith in democracy and to tackle societal issues.
He wants to take firm action on the climate crisis and ensure that every person in the country has an equal chance to prosper, and to make sure that people across communities are well represented and listened to.
The full video of the UK Youth Parliament 2023 session can be watched on YouTube.