Twelve year old Henry Dean was elected by his peers to serve as a Member of the UK Youth Parliament representing the Isles of Scilly. The UK Youth Parliament provides opportunities for 11–18 year olds to use their elected voice to bring about social change through meaningful representation and campaigning.
When asked why this membership was important, Henry said: “I wanted to give Young People a voice on the Isles of Scilly. I also wanted get involved in politics. This is something I am passionate about as I want to bring change to this country. I think families are central for a strong society.”
Henry attended the annual sitting of the Youth Parliament in the Commons Chamber within Westminster Palace where they debated matters chosen by their constituents. This was broadcast on BBC Parliament. Five debates were chaired by Rt Hon John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons covering topics of homelessness, knife crime, votes for 16-year olds, pay for young people and mental health.
Henry enjoyed the experience and observed that “the benches are surprisingly comfortable”. He found being in London very different surroundings compared to his daily life on the remote Island of St Mary’s.
Henry serves as 2nd counselor in the Deacons Quorum Presidency of the St Austell Ward, Plymouth Stake. Henry resides with his family on the Isles of Scilly. With transport links with the mainland expensive and often affected by weather conditions, most Sunday’s he worships at home with his family and frequently joins the ward Young Men classes via video link.