On Wednesday, December 2 the 16th Newtownabbey Company of the Boys’ Brigade visited the Mayor, Councillor Thomas Hogg at Mossley Mill.
The visit to the Mayor’s parlour and council chamber was part of a project they have been working on called ‘Rock Enrol’.
The Rathcoole-based company were able to attain some funding from the Education Authority which allowed them to organise a project which would teach young people about politics and the importance of registering to vote.
The funding required that this was a young person-led project, so the application was completed and the course was delivered by the young people themselves with the help and support of officers.
It was decided that with the disengagement of so many with politics and low voter turnout, that this would be a good opportunity to encourage young people to have their voices heard through learning about local politics and finding out how to register to vote. A new resource produced by the cabinet office called ‘Rock Enrol’ was the resource used to base the course on.
“The Rock Enrol sessions aim to develop political literacy and inspire young people to engage in democratic debate. They encourage young people to discuss what they care about and why they should register to vote. They use games and activities to get students discussing important issues, whether local or global,” a spokesperson explained.
Most of the course was delivered over a residential weekend, held in the Ganaway Centre in Millilse.
“We thought that following on from the weekend it would be helpful for the boys, most of whom live in Rathcoole, to visit their local council and meet the Mayor,” the company spokesman continued. “We are also planning a visit to Stormont in the New Year.
“During the visit to Mossley Mill the boys were able to have a question and answer session with the Mayor, and it was excellent to hear the young people ask very relevant questions and articulate their own thoughts. A sincere thank you to Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council for allowing us to visit the civic building and to Councillor Hogg for hosting the event.”