Derbyshire Youth Council members are set to broaden their minds and cultural experiences with a visit to Brussels.
The educational visit will see 11 members visit the Belgian city – one of the three bases for the European parliament.
Young people going, along with three youth service staff, include:
* Aaliyah Barsby, who represents South Derbyshire
* Adam Hoyes, who represents North East Derbyshire
* Danielle Hutton, who represents High Peak
* Kyle Ilett, who represents Erewash
* Ruth Hutson, who represents Chesterfield
* Robert Ashley King, who represents High Peak
* Ryan Smith, who represents North East Derbyshire
* James Cook, who represents Bolsover
* Robert Martin, who represents Bolsover
* Sam Boam, who represents Derbyshire Dales
* Phoebe Dunn, who represents Amber Valley.
As part of the three-day trip, from February 15 to 18, the youngsters will meet MEP Emma McClarkin, tour the European Parliament and visit local places of interest.
The youth council was established in 2002 to give young people throughout the county the chance to take part in the democratic and political process. It has 57 young people aged 11 to 18 years who have been elected for a two–year term of office.
Representatives come from secondary schools, special schools, 16 to 19 colleges and include looked after children. The youth council cabinet is made up of 19 of the members.
Council members have helped influenced decision-making at county and national level.
They have also been able to get involved in their communities through projects such as raising alcohol awareness and reducing graffiti.
Council members are representatives on the Derbyshire Children’s Trust Board and UK Youth Parliament and have participated in the Annual Sitting and House of Commons debate.
Councillor Barry Lewis, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for young people, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for our youth council members to visit the heart of the European parliament and learn even more about democracy and politics on an international scale.
“We want young people to get involved in their communities and make the most of the chances on offer.
“The young people in our youth council today could be political leaders and decision-makers of the future so we’re happy to support them in their cultural education.”
The group will travel by train and stay in a local hotel. The £7,320 cost of the trip will be met by a £2,100 European subsidy, £5,020 from the Youth Opportunity Fund and £200 fundraised by the youngsters themselves.