Over 100 young people get together for the Hackney Young Futures Commission
What would you change if you were Mayor for the Day? This is just one of the questions being answered by young people across the borough as part of the Hackney Young Futures Commission.
The independent, youth-led commission is set to run over the next two years to find out how residents, aged 10 to 25 years old, view Hackney as a place to live, the changes they would like to see, and how they want to be involved in the decisions that affect them.
On 1 May over 100 young people came together for the Hackney Young Futures launch at Forest Road Youth Hub, where they tucked into food created by apprentice chefs from Blue Marble Catering, watched live performances and heard from commission chairs Jermain Jackman and Shekeila Scarlett, and vice-chairs, Georgina Appeagyei and Mishaque Jarrett.
Thaddeus Brown, 22 from Homerton said: “Trying to make sure young people's voices are heard is really important, it's good to see so many young people down here of all different ages and backgrounds, all getting together to see what’s happening with the Commission.”
Answers to some of the questions posed to young people at the event sparked conversations on the positive aspects of Hackney, being diverse and welcoming, having a lot of talented young people, to negatives where young people feel unsafe, and feeling there are fewer opportunities for them.
Rio McKenzie, 11 from Clapton said: “Today is a chance to say what you want to change and for all our rights in a good way. I want to make sure all children feel safe.”
It’s good to be asking young people what they think, and I like that this is all run by young people. If I was Mayor for the day I would change the curriculum for all children to include politics and what’s going on in the world around them so they can all get involved.
As well as networking with other young people, attendees also heard from the Mayor of Hackney, about his journey, where he initially left school without any qualifications at 14 and then went back to college later on where he received 5 GCSEs and then went onto further education.
The Commission is a smart idea, the youth are the future, if they are not able to make decisions now then our future will not be as good. If through this we can make young people feel comfortable to talk, then we can get some good ideas.
Throughout the event young people were asked to answer questions as part of a survey being conducted by the Commission which started discussions on a wide range of topics ranging from work experience to youth clubs.
It was great to see so many young people come together at the Young Futures Commission launch. Between the launch and other events we’ve already held and attended, some great conversations & discussions have started on the issues affecting young people and some of the changes people want to see made. However, we still need to hear from all young people in Hackney. Even if it’s filling in the survey online, joining the commission itself or coming along to one of our events, then please do get in touch with us. A movement has started for young people in Hackney to work together to make positive changes, for and within our communities, so get in touch and get involved!
There was an amazing amount of energy and positivity in the room at the Young Futures Commission launch. We are excited about harnessing all that amazing energy, as well as the talent from Hackney’s young people, to really make a positive difference to our lives here in the borough.
Keep up to date with work from the commission by following @HacYoungFutures on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and visit: www.hackneyyoungfutures.co.uk to take part in the Hackney Young Futures survey.