Make a Difference
Calum Macleod of S5 is due to debate policy in the House of Commons this autumn as a member of the UK Youth Parliament after making a positive impact as a Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament since his election for North Glasgow in 2015.
A Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament since 2015, Calum was elected to the UK Youth Parliament earlier this year after campaigning to encourage young people to vote and consulting his peers on the Government’s ‘Lead the Way’ campaign which promotes awareness of prominent political issues among young people.
The S5 St Aloysius’ College pupil, who is a dedicated member of the College debating society which meets every Wednesday, is excited by the prospect of debating policy in the House of Commons at Westminster in November.
Calum first decided to run for election to the Scottish Youth Parliament in 2015 having become increasingly engaged in political debate throughout the Scottish Independence Referendum and the Aloysian will now serve on both the Scottish Youth Parliament and the UK Youth Parliament simultaneously.
When he was first elected, Calum cited the campaign to give 16 year-olds the vote as one of his main drivers for getting involved, saying,
“I would like to see votes at 16 implemented across the UK. I think it’s wrong that you can join the army at 16 but you can’t vote for who might send you off to war”.
And it’s not only through political debate that Calum feels comfortable in taking centre stage.
This summer he was cast to play the part of Gonzalo in Scottish Youth Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’.
As Gonzalo, Calum played the part of an honest and trusted adviser to King Alonso of Naples who has a good heart and an optimistic outlook – a few qualities Calum feels he could bring to the world of politics.
Calum as Gonzalo in the Tempest. Photo by Robin Mitchell.
After three weeks of intense rehearsals, Calum’s performance in the Tempest was as well received as the production itself which ran for 5 sell-out performances in Glasgow’s Old Sheriff Court and was given 4 Stars by the Herald’s Marianne Gunn who described it as ‘stylish reboot of one of William Shakespeare's most exotic plays’.
The Aloysian has been interested in acting since he was young and, having performed in productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Lion King at the College, and having taken Drama at National 5 and Higher level, he has now secured a position to teach acting as a workshop assistant.
The acting bug has clearly made its way through the Macleod household as Calum’s younger sister, Eilidh, was also on stage during the summer break in the PACE Theatre Company’s production of ‘I Dreamed a Dream’.
Those aged 16 or 17 on 31/08/2016 can vote on the issues that Calum and the UK Youth Parliament should debate in the House of Commons on November 11 by following this link: ukyouthparliament.org.uk/makeyourmark