New Young Speakers of Hackney announced
Yesterday’s full Council meeting saw the announcement of two new roles, the Young Speakers of Hackney, which aim to better represent young people across the borough.
The two Young Speakers of Hackney will be selected from Hackney Youth Parliament members. As well as being a voice for the Parliament, the Speakers will be working towards improving the lives of young people in the Borough, by championing the youth voice, attending Council meetings and working directly with the Mayor and Speaker.
The first ever Young Speakers have been announced as Rose Ilunga and Kamani Williams, who were voted on to the Hackney Youth Parliament last year by young people across the borough. Both of the Speakers aim to increase youth participation in politics and will be visiting schools and youth hubs to hear the wider views of the community and decide on their priorities for the upcoming year.
My priority is to spread the word that living in hackney doesn’t and shouldn’t limit your future. We need to stop the stigma relating where you grew up and what you can achieve. I also want to appeal to the young women of Hackney and continue the journey to self-acceptance and self-praise. I personally don’t want to conform to the passive position that society has pinned onto me and what better than becoming a young speaker! Especially since this year marks 100 years since the works of Pankhurst and Fawcett were acknowledged and women were granted the vote! What an honour!
As well as attending meetings and campaigning, the two Speakers will also go to events alongside the Mayor and Speaker such as Hackney Carnival and help promote what’s on in the borough for young people.
There are three things I wish to focus on in my role as Young Hackney Speaker. I want to help end the stigma of mental health and highlight the mental health needs of young people in Hackney to improve the support on offer. I also wish to learn more about how the socio-economic position of families affects young people in the borough and if an increased political youth voice can change this and level the playing field for future outcomes. Thirdly I wish to talk to those from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds about barriers they face as well as promoting inspirational stories to help motivate and encourage other young people to be a positive force in their peer groups and communities.
Any young person who wants to become a Young Speaker of Hackney will have the chance later this year in October. Those interested can put themselves forward for the 2018 Youth Parliament elections and declare their interest as a manifesto pledge. Once the Hackney Youth Parliament has been elected later this year the group will select one male and one female representative as Speaker.
Young people are incredibly passionate about Hackney and its future, playing a massive role in making it the vibrant and exciting place that it is. Around a quarter of Hackney’s population is under 20, so it’s really important that the youth voice is heard, and young people are involved in decision making that will help make the borough an even better and safer place to grow up, live and go to school in.
If you are interested in finding our more about how to become part of the Hackney Youth Parliament then please contact Yasser.Hussain@hackney.gov.uk or check out the young hackney website for more information.
Hackney Youth Parliament is made up young people who have been elected by their peers and are part of the National UK Youth Parliament programme. The current Youth Parliament positions are now held for two years and the current cycle ends in October 2018.
Mayor Glanville pledged in his manifesto to increase the youth voice in Hackney, and devised the Young Speaker programme by working directly with Young Hackney and members of the Youth Parliamen. The first two Young Speakers are piloting the posts until the next Youth Parliament elections in October 2018. The Young Speaker function will be reviewed ahead of the elections that month, before the next two Young Speakers are chosen from the newly elected Youth Parliamentarians.