The borough’s children’s chief has called on passionate youngsters to join a revamped Hackney Youth Parliament as it prepares for elections this Spring.
The new format will see six young leaders elected and opportunities extended to 60 others to get involved in the parliament’s work. The group will be given a budget and help call the shots on the delivery of local youth services.
The reform follows a pledge from the council last June to address powerful complaints from young parliamentarians about feeling “underused”, on top of concerns raised by Town Hall staff about the risk of young voices being stifled amid the pandemic.
Deputy Mayor and children’s boss Cllr Anntoinette Bramble said: “Hackney is full of passionate, young people who can make a real impact in the borough on our youth parliament programme.
“During these challenging times it is more important than ever that young people’s voices are heard in order to shape local and national policy.
“There are a huge number of opportunities available, and we want to hear from young people from all backgrounds so that every part of our community is given a voice.
“The youth parliament has made a huge difference to youth services in Hackney and offers some fantastic opportunities for its members, as well as being a fun experience to be part of.”
Members of the youth parliament will learn what it means to take part in a democratic system, to advocate for their communities and push for positive change on issues such as climate change, systemic racism and mental health.
Successful candidates will be expected to find out the concerns and needs of other young people in Hackney and present these views to local decision-makers.
During their term in office, which will end in October 2023, members will have the opportunity to get involved in a variety of events, projects and campaigns, as well as working with the Mayor of Hackney and attending council meetings.
There will be a residential this summer where members will get to know each other, with future trips planned that depend on lockdown measures.
The council is encouraging those underrepresented in the current cohort to apply, such as young men, members of the LGBTQ+ community and members of the Jewish, Turkish and Kurdish communities.
Those interested must be a young person who is a resident or attends a school in Hackney, aged between 14 and 19, or up to 25 for those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
Members are asked to commit to at least three hours per month on Hackney Youth Parliament activities.
Get involved by registering your interest here and the team will respond as soon as possible. Any questions can be directed to Nana Adae-Amoakoh at email@example.com or call 020 8356 8555