Learning Disability Wales is delighted to announce that the two young disabled children we will be supporting in the new Welsh Youth Parliament are Anwen Rodaway, from the Gower, and Katie Whitlow, from Llandudno Junction.

As Welsh Youth Parliament Members, Anwen and Katie will represent disabled young people in Wales in the new Youth Parliament, which starts in January 2019. They join 58 other Welsh Youth Parliament Members, who were announced during Plenary at the National Assembly today. Mirroring the number of seats in the National Assembly, 40 Members were voted for in the Youth Parliament election in November 2018, while the remaining 20 members were elected by young people from partner organisations.

Learning Disability Wales is proud to be one of these partner organisations, and will be support Anwen and Katie to speak up at the Youth Parliament on behalf of other disabled young people in Wales.

Key issues

We asked Anwen and Katie what were the most important issues for them as they begin their roles as two of the first ever Welsh Youth Parliament Members.

Anwen, who is 12 years old and from the Gower, said she has a “strong desire to make a difference for young people in Wales and especially Gower.  I am a welsh speaking girl with autism. Girls on the spectrum are generally undiagnosed and underrepresented, and I want to help change that.”

The key issues that Anwen would like to work on are:

  1. Environmental issues – reducing plastic use.
  2. Homelessness – reducing effects of poverty.
  3. Autism – better diagnosis/awareness/understanding.

Katie, who is 17 years old and from Llandudno Junction, said she is excited to use her voice to represent other young disabled people. “I am passionate about making sure young people with disabilities get all the opportunities they deserve and hope I will be able to represent young people with disabilities in the best way.”

The key issues that Katie would like to work on are:

  1. Education Services – it would be very beneficial for teachers to be aware of different disabilities and resources to support us.
  2. The Community – should be more activities for young people with disabilities and more disabled/disability friendly cinemas and theatres.
  3. Training – when working with children and young people I feel any professional should having training on additional learning needs and disabilities to form better relationship sand opportunities.

You can find out more about Anwen and Katie, and the Welsh Youth Parliament at our Youth Parliament project page.