Social Action & Enriching Activities/Experiences: In-Focus

Youngest in charge project

Young people pitched for funding to deliver community projects

Young people applied for funds to deliver projects that will improve the lives of young residents as part of 'Youngest in Charge', a youth participatory budgeting programme.


The Programme allows young people to develop and lead their own community projects.

After a successful pitching session at Stratford Town Hall last month, young people secured full funding for all of their projects from sponsors Newham Council, Newham HeadStart and Newham Training Hub.

On the night of the pitch, participant James Kaguima, who created the Skate Cabal project, said: “I feel energised. This project is a way to bounce back from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Councillors, parents and other adults who attended the session were heartened to hear Newham’s young people talking about the importance of physical and mental health and how their projects were designed to support this.

Participant Iman Sharif, who’s passionate about speaking up for those without a voice, looked at mental health within the community with her podcast “Project 22”, which bridges the generation gap between children and parents through addressing taboo topics and encouraging collective positive change.

 She said: “I wanted to find a way to use music to normalise conversations that people often find embarrassing or difficult.

“This will also demonstrate the value of our experiences as young Somali adults growing up in the West with parents who struggle with language barriers.”

Another young person spoke about his idea to create a safe physical space for his age group to learn and practise activities like trampolining together because it is “good to interact face-to-face”.

Kelley Webbmartin, Newham’s Head of 0-19 Children's Health Service and HeadStart, said: “When launching the Year of the Young Person, Brighter Futures made a commitment to shine a light on our children and young people’s achievements and encourage youth empowerment.

“This event is one of the many to follow until March next year to demonstrate that commitment.”

At the end of the live event, around 400 people voted online for their favourite project, with Tahmid Hussain, Loreen Allick and Gerrard Oniya winning the most votes. However, happily, all participants will receive full funding to turn their ideas into reality.

Young people will now receive mentoring and training to implement their projects.