Photo: Outgoing Youth Leader (Havering’s first), Alicia Murphy
An online election will be taking place today (Thursday the 9th of May 2013), to select one of three young candidates who wish to represent the views of their peers across Havering London Borough, as Young Leader. As the Borough’s website advises eligible voters, “The post holder will participate in the Havering Youth Congress, where they will listen to and represent your views. The Young Leader will meet with other young people, within the borough, across London and the rest of the UK, so that they can tell politicians what young [people] think and feel.” It goes on to say that they will:
- Advise Havering Councillors on youth issues;
- Represent young people in Havering, London and nationally;
- Develop ideas and work with other bodies to further younger people living, working and studying in Havering;
- Attend ceremonial events.
Here’s what these inspiring young people have to say about themselves…
My name is Alice Donohue and I am 20 years old. Over the past few years, I have been Head Girl at my School, the Member of Youth Parliament for Havering and Chair of the Havering Youth Council. I have also worked closely alongside the police as a member of both the CPCG and IAG panels I also co-run a charity with a friend of mine supporting young people and encouraging them to involved in volunteering and charity work.
I am keen and a good listener and I have done a lot of work with young people. As a young person, I feel the young leader role is perfect for me as I have already worked closely alongside the Council and have the necessary skills to take on the role! I am lots of fun and have bundles of energy. I am keen and ready to go and accept the challenge of being young leader whole heartedly and with an open mind.
I have been a positive role model from young. I have experiences in leadership roles ad Deputy Head Girl, House Leader, School Council Leader, Business and Enterprise Squad Leader and Deputy Sports Captain at the Albany School. I carried out these roles effectively and efficiently to the admiration and respect of my peers and teachers. I have been involved in local politics since 11 years old when my mother was the Civic Mayor of the London Borough of Hackney 2006-2007 and I was her official Consort. Along with my Dad we run free Maths tuition for young people in Havering at Myplace youth centre in Harold Hill. This project, which is the first of its kind in the Borough was launched by the Mayor, Cllr. Lynden Thorpe in August 2012. I’m also a Youth Leader at my church and one of my responsibilities is to organise fund raising events for local charities in Havering. I will be working with 5 Deputies; Peace Ugbeikwu, Mahria Fayyaz, Stacey Button, Nikhita Lester, Alex Kirby and Ryan Fernandes who will assist me in my duties as Young Leader.
- As Havering Young Leader I will hold surgeries for young people and promote a young citizen panel which will be open to any young person who wants to get involved in having a real say and a genuine decision making power within the Borough
- I aim to raise the profile of the young people of Havering and champion their cause effectively
- I will help to develop a link with the Council into the wider communication initiatives which will reflect young people developing interest in the wider community
- I will help the Borough to plan (organise and facilitate) youth conferences with/for young people across the Borough
- Initiate workshops with the police and local young people explaining issues of community safety and how they can contribute to their own safety to promote peaceful co-existence among youths
- I will aim to increase youth participation in politics
- I will be engaged in a project with other young people to produce a Directory of Services which will sign post young people to organisations dealing with a number of their issues such as health, careers, sports and advice.
- I will aim to promote healthy competition in sports and academics amongst schools in the Borough
I’m appealing to young people to vote for me because I have the qualities, the skills and the experience in leadership roles which will help me in fulfilling my role as Havering Young Leader
I’m part of an active collective including; Terrel Wilson, Rebecca Joseph, Fraser White, Andrea Whitaker, Dayane Rodrigues and Ajay Pabial. We dare to challenge current stereotypes and perceptions attached to young people. We don’t believe in figureheads, instead, collaboration. However, we made the exception to allege one individual as lead contact. We know that collective leadership can work within a political model; for example, the Green Party of Aotearoa, New Zealand.
We’re culturally diverse, embracing all age groups, genders, nationalities, sexualities and beliefs. We’ve had successful experiences working individually and collectively in our community, projects like The Outback Art House and NICHE.
I believe that the youth today have become passive; our solution to this is by engaging youths to become socially active, creating events and activities. Change is enforced upon us and we don’t react to it. We feel that young people are not listened to. We are taught not to challenge even though we feel it is wrong. As a campaign we want to empower and inspire young people to have a voice. As a collective we want to bring more opportunities to help young people develop basic skills such as confidence, communication, curiosity and independence to help them in all areas of life now and in the future, giving each individual a chance to achieve goals they have set themselves. I am aware that this opportunity is not for our selfish gain, but for the benefit of the youth of today. As a group of creative individuals we believe we can give a fresh new outlook on today’s society, and with our creative backgrounds, develop our campaign in a unique and stimulating way.
Brave 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai, who survived a Taliban attempt on her life five months ago, after she defied a ban on girls’ education in the Swat Valley of Pakistan, has now resumed her education at Edgbaston High School for Girls, in Birmingham, England.
Malala was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen, last year, as she travelled to school. This was in revenge for her outspoken blog, which she had been writing since the age of 11.
But last week the teen – whose quiet defiance has won her the admiration of people around the world – walked to school safely with her father. She told reporters “I want to learn about politics and about social rights, about law, about how to bring change in this world and to work for the happiness and education of all girls. I am excited that today I have achieved my dream of going back to school. I want all girls in the world to have this basic opportunity. I miss my classmates from Pakistan very much but I am looking forward to meeting my teachers and making new friends here in Birmingham.”
Her new school uniform, she said, proved that she was a student: she added, proudly, “I’m going to school. I’m learning.”
We are delighted to bring you this update, here at Generosity News.
Malala’s father Ziauddin is currently serving as education attaché at the Pakistani Consulate in Birmingham, where the family now lives.
Photo: Cllr Jaymey McIvor in action
As I commented yesterday, on the Chreda Foundation Facebook page, UK teenagers frequently demonstrate how community-conscious they can be. So it was a delight to hear that at last night’s Epping Forest District Council Civic Awards, at Gilwell Park, fourteen-year-old Epping Forest Youth Councillor Jaymey McIvor was named Young Citizen of the Year, in recognition of the inspiration he provides to the district’s young people. Jaymey, who received no less than fourteen nominations for the award, has been doing charity work since he was just seven years old, initially volunteering with an Enfield-based charity for blind people, and spending much of his spare time representing the young people of the district, both locally and nationally. He is a Member of the Epping Forest Youth Council, and of the Youth Parliament (for Brentwood & Ongar). He was also recently presented with a Princess Diana Award, for making a difference in his community. Jaymey – who attends St John’s School, Epping – says he hopes to inspire other young people to volunteer, rather than simply playing video games after school. What an amazing young man… well-deserving of this latest award!
Today – the first day of 2013 – is World Day of Peace (or World Peace Day). What a fitting start to the New Year! And this year the occasion has been recognised by granting an international peace award to a brave 15-year-old girl from Pakistan.
Pakistani student Malala Yousafzai, who is from the town of Mingora in the Swat district of Pakistan, was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen last October, for campaigning for girls to be able to attend school without fear in that part of the country, after strict Sharia law had previously been imposed by the Taliban. Malala was hit just above her left eye by a bullet which grazed the edge of her brain. She was treated at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, after being airlifted to Britain. The president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, visited her there, last month.
And today she was announced as recipient of the 2012 Tipperary International Peace Award, which has previously honoured Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev and Bill Clinton, among others. Hillary Clinton was also shortlisted for the Award this year. In the words of Peace Convention secretary Martin Quinn, “Malala’s courage has proved to be an inspiration around the globe. The right to education is denied to 61 million children of primary school age around the world and the hopes of these children are represented by the courage, determination and by the voice of Malala Yousafzai. The Taliban tried and failed to silence her and have instead amplified her voice. Though only a child herself, she has now become perhaps the world’s most admired children’s rights advocate. Her campaign to secure access to education for girls in certain regions in Pakistan has also served to highlight broader concerns such as the health and safety of the developing world’s children, women’s rights and the fight against extremism.”
The Tipperary Peace Convention, in recognising Malala’s courage, determination and perseverance, emphasises the impact she has had on people across the world. This is a very auspicious start to 2013, from a ‘youth award’ point-of-view, and one which I am delighted to feature in my first blog of the year.
Generosity News tends to concentrate more on the positive side of life, but back in August I felt obliged to criticise present UK Government policy regarding disabled workers, as Remploy closures hit the headlines, and although there was some good news, overall the situation appeared rather bleak.
But I was delighted to read today that here in Wales former Remploy employees from the closed Treforest plant are now turning the tables and showing that disabled people aren’t willing to accept defeat. Steven Watts, Rocky Worsfold and three colleagues are successfully running a furniture refurbishment and re-upholstering business, GreenCap, at Caerphilly’s Western Industrial Estate, breathing new life into old office furniture and then selling it on. Local Council Leader Harry Andrews describes it as “a success story…[which]…has the support of the Welsh Government, local authorities and other businesses” and which, as he points out, is remarkably like “the original concept of Remploy back in the 1940s.”
It’s great to see these enterprising people, who understandably “felt cheated” at being dumped by their employer of many years, now regaining their confidence and sense of self-worth, as their new company – which has already rescued and sold-on 100 desks and 130 chairs that would have been destined for landfill – attracts admiration and support from many people, including Education Minister Leighton Andrews, who recently visited the social enterprise. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of the flagship enterprise that once employed 10,000 people and generated sales totalling £175million, GreenCap is going from strength to strength, and already has a customer list that includes 118 118, HSBC, Swalec and Cardiff City Council. With the assistance of the Welsh Contact Centre Forum and the Local Authority it seems to have a great future ahead of it. Our congratulations to the workers who said “No!” to being thrown on the scrapheap, and had the foresight and courage to go it alone, despite their disabilities. All power to them and their new enterprise!