Young people in Hackney get their voices heard in new report
Following the largest ever consultation with young people in Hackney, the views of over 2,500 young people have been published in a report by the Hackney Young Futures Commission.
Since launching in January 2019, the Commission has consulted with thousands of young people aged 10-25. The Commission issued its final findings at an online event on Saturday 14 November.
The event was attended by Diane Abbott MP, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Hackney and featured a live performance from aspiring young poet Angel Reid.
The Commission was set up to listen and learn from young people’s experiences of growing up in Hackney and to make recommendations to the Council and other organisations to improve the lives and opportunities of young people in the community.
Over the last year the chairs and vice chairs of the Commission have: worked with young people through focus groups tailored by age; used a variety of online surveys and questionnaires to gather accurate data; spoken to over 400 young people through street based engagement; and hosted a series of events with over 1,000 attendees.
These methods of engagement have allowed the Commission to connect with children and young people across the borough, documenting their uncensored experiences of living, studying and working in Hackney.
Key recommendations from young people in the report include their wish to reduce homelessness and improve the quality of housing among their peers, a full review into young people’s mental health services and their desire to reduce the impact of the fear of crime on young people.
Featuring 21 ‘asks’ for change and 72 ‘hows’ to bring about these changes, the Valuing the Future Through Young Voices Report was initially presented to Cabinet earlier this year, and has now been published publicly.
The next phase of their work will see them work with the Council, local organisations and young people to deliver and implement the findings highlighted in the report.
The Commission has been an incredible journey, and now that the report has been launched I feel the journey is only just beginning. My co-chair Shekeila and I are more passionate than ever about ensuring young people are included in the decisions that affect them. This consultation has shown us that there is so much young people are proud of in Hackney but also so much we must improve on to give them the best opportunities and experience possible.
It’s an honour to have finally launched the Valuing The Future Through Young Voices report. I’ve been super excited to share the recommendations that young people came up with and also, the best practices from the Commission - which the Council and its partners have already started to adopt. Now, the hard work starts to deliver each and every recommendation!
I am incredibly grateful to the Commission for all the hard work that has gone into producing this report. This is the largest consultation with young people that Hackney has ever seen and it gives me great pleasure to see the report officially released to the public.The Commission also hosted a series of additional ‘Covid Conversations’ throughout this year and the data from those online events only supports and further highlights the absolute need to put the voice of young people at the heart of decision and policy making in Hackney permanently.
As we move into the next phase of work, I look forward to working closely with the Commission alongside Deputy Mayor Anntoinnette Bramble, Cllr Fajana-Thomas and Cllr Caroline Selman to deliver and implement the cross cutting recommendations for change. The Commission has given us the invaluable opportunity to gather a wealth of authentic data and we must now respond quickly and positively to what we have learned.
Firstly, we would like to give our thanks to the Commission chairs and vice chairs, Jermain Jackman, Shekeila Scarlett, Georgina Appeagyei and Mishaque Jarrett, to see this report published publicly is a real testament to all their hard work so far. Thousands of young people have given us their time and honest accounts of growing up in Hackney and we must now work to show them that they were heard. One of the strengths of this piece of work is that young people have not only highlighted the issues but have also provided us with the solutions, demonstrating just how much they have to contribute when given the opportunity to do so. We often say children and young people are the future, but we wanted to provide a platform for children and young people to share their today.
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, the voluntary sector and councillors.
To read the report: bit.ly/3nwgAGK