Young Futures Commission presents findings
The views and experiences of young people on issues including tackling homelessness, reducing crime and improving mental health services will be put at the heart of decision-making in Hackney after the Council committed to listening to the recommendations of a new report co-produced by the borough’s young residents.
Between March and December 2019, the independent Hackney Young Futures Commission, led by young people alongside the Council and community organisations, spoke with more than 2,500 residents aged between 10-25 to hear their views on living in Hackney and how the borough can be improved for young people.
The report, which was presented to Cabinet on Monday features insights and direct quotations from young people about their lived experience of living, working and studying in the borough.
It also features 21 ‘asks’ for change and 72 ‘hows’ to implement solutions that have been co-produced with young people and adults.
We have to admit that this process was not “a walk in the park”, far from it. Multiple incidents, protests and Covid-19 impacted the work we carried out. Despite this, it turned into an eye opening and heartwarming journey as we heard the unique, but connected lived experiences of our Hackney young people.
The consultation consisted of the following four key questions which were devised by young people:
- What is your favourite thing or place in Hackney and why?
- What is the main issue affecting your life in Hackney today and how does this issue affect you?
- If you were the Mayor, what would be the main thing you would change for young people in Hackney? What would you do and how would you change it?
- Any Other Comments?
From my experience of co-leading this consultation I want to encourage every young person who reads this report to stand up and feel empowered to make a difference in their community. Do not ever doubt that your opinion counts and it can make a change.
Key insights emerging from the report include:
- Building a secure future, including reducing homelessness and improving the quality of housing for young people
- A review of Young People’s Mental Health Services
- An Inclusive Future, whereby Young People are involved in the Regeneration of the Borough
- Reducing the impact of the Fear of Crime on Young People.
Investing in and delivering the Hackney Young Futures Commission was a pledge in my Manifesto in 2018, and two years later, it gives me great pleasure to be able to see this report come to Cabinet.
As we move into the next phase of work, I look forward to working closely with the Commission to implement the “asks” highlighted in the report. We have gathered a wealth of groundbreaking data and we must respond positively to what we have learned, and we would urge our partners in Hackney to engage with the findings and work alongside myself, Cllr Anntoinnette Bramble and Cllr Caroline Selman, to deliver the recommendations.
We must also all commit to the most important legacy the Commission can have, which is working together to ensure we find ways to permanently put the voice of young people at the heart of decision and policy making in Hackney.
The Hackney Young Futures Commission was funded by, but set up to be independent of, the Council.
The Commission has worked closely with young people themselves, community representatives, academic partners and those from the voluntary sector and councillors.
Firstly, we would like to give our thanks to the Commission Chairs and Vice Chairs, Jermain Jackman, Shekeila Scarlett, Georgina Appeagyei and Mishaque Jarrett, who have worked so hard to reach so many young people across the borough. One of the strengths of this piece of work is that young people have come up with solutions and demonstrates what young people can achieve when you provide a platform.
The Commission has been the most comprehensive youth engagement exercise the borough has ever seen. However, our success will truly be judged, and rightly so, on the change that comes out of this process. It is vital that the thousands of young people who gave us their time can see the impact that they have made, and that they have not just been listened to, but heard.
Phase two of the commission will launch in October 2020, which will include detailed plans and timetables for delivery of Asks and agreed priorities. Phase three which will be the implementation of of delivery, followed by phase four which will include a final report and assessment,
If you’d like to get involved in the future phases of the Hackney Young Futures Commission please contact: Info@hackneyyoungfutures.co.uk