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A secondary school student has vowed to help give Haverhill a voice after being named the new Youth MP for West Suffolk.

Kathiravan Parthipan, 15 from Haverhill, has begun his new two-year extracurricular role alongside studying for his GCSEs at Samuel Ward Academy.

Kathiravan beat the challenge of six other nominees – included two other students from the Haverhill school – after impressing with his manifesto.

He said: “Living in Haverhill, I have always felt the town was a little distant in the eyes of the rest of Suffolk. So, the chance to give Haverhill a voice was something that really appealed in this role.

“I hope the role will also forge closer links between the school and the wider community and bring about a positive change.”

His manifesto prioritised a curriculum for life, raising awareness of mental health issues and enrichment opportunities to help improve the understanding of certain academic subjects.

He said: “I have used my own nomination process to now feed back to the Suffolk Youth Parliament and I am working with them on regional priorities.

“I am very excited about the role and my fellow students and the school have been very supportive.”

Jenna Powell, assistant headteacher at Samuel Ward Academy, said: “We are all very proud of Kathiravan’s achievements within the Suffolk Youth Parliament. He is a very capable and articulate student who I am sure will be a real asset as a Suffolk MYP.”

Fellow Samuel Ward students Amelia Hodges and Jess Nobbs, both aged 12, were also in the running at the recent election.

All three candidates pledged to make sure young voices would be heard and valued, as well keen to give young people more opportunities.

In Suffolk, the MYPs and the deputies work to represent the views of young people in this county and regionally.

They all assist in running Make Your Mark, the UK’s largest youth consultation, and they have opportunities to attend British Youth Council conventions and debate in the House of Commons.