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Young people share their concerns with Mayor

15 May 2018 in Mayor and Young people
Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz has begun making good on her campaign pledges to listen to young people as she shapes Newham Council’s  priorities for the future.
Her inaugural event during her first week of office took place at Forest Gate Youth Zone close to where university student Sami Sidhom lived and lost his life last month. Young people shared their opinions (pictured) and heard the Mayor speak about her experiences of growing up in Newham.

Singing and dance performances were delivered by youngsters who attend the Youth Zone. Young people were able to share their views via an online voting system about what they thought was great about the borough, what their concerns were and what they wanted to see changed.

Overall they said they loved the diversity and vibrancy of the borough and some of the activities that take place here, but want more opportunities to succeed. They often felt the council and schools weren’t supportive enough over their fears about safety. They also said  more young people should be given second chances to get their lives back on track.

Mayor Fiaz said: “I thank them for being really open about their experiences. Our young people often feel like they are not listened to and for my first event I wanted  to hear about what it means to be a young person in the borough now. We need to provide more ways for them to showcase their talents, to build on the skills they have and develop new ways of tackling the violence that is impacting on them.” A follow up event will be held on July 13.

During her first week the Mayor also spoke with young people at the first meeting of the Newham Youth Independent Advisory Group at the University of East London campus in Stratford.

Mayor Fiaz said: “We discussed issues and concerns young people have about living in Newham and how collaboratively we can find solutions. I enjoyed the session and it reaffirmed my determination to deliver on the issues I have discussed with residents, including tackling youth violence and ensuring continued improvements in education.”

The Mayor’s pledges around young people include expanding the number of youth hubs, creating a skills programme for 14 to 19-year-olds and establishing a youth safety group.