In an interview with several young people, Newham Council’s Children and Young People’s Commissioner, Geeta Subramaniam-Mooney shared her vision for the future of the borough’s young people. The interview, arranged by local newspaper Newham Voices, provides a frank and personal glimpse into the recently created department and its plans for making Newham the best place for children and young people.
Following social distance guidelines, the interview was carried out over Zoom, and Geeta was questioned by two Newham students and one former student. Daniel Harry and Mir Tasin are both students of Brampton Manor, while Mufeeda Chowdhury used to attend Forest Gate Community School, and recently graduated from the University of Greenwich. All three studied psychology and were more than equipped to turn up the heat when questioning Geeta about the issues that concerned them as young people.
Among the many topics the young people threw at Geeta were questions around what the Children and Young People’s Commissioner has achieved so far, what inspired her to work with young people, and how she and her team engage with Newham’s young and diverse audience.
Geeta oversees the Brighter Futures directorate which was created in 2019 at the council to be a dedicated service committed to keep young people safe and enable them to reach their full potential. Linking into all areas of the council, Brighter Futures puts children first and ensures this flows like DNA throughout the organisation and the borough. It aims to support young people to be happy, healthy and safe; set strong foundations by building the best start in life, supporting and opening opportunities for our children and young people.
Geeta was previously Director of Public Protection and Safety at Lewisham Council and has 20 years’ experience in local government across operational, strategic, frontline and corporate services. Geeta also chaired pan-London boards leading on community safety and youth justice and provides advice and support to the regional work at City Hall, and London Councils.
Geeta said: “It was a wonderful opportunity to speak to the amazing young people and share with them what we have planned over the coming months. Talking to young people directly allowed me to gain a greater understanding of the burning issues they face and will ensure we deliver opportunities to help them grow and flourish.”
The full interview will be published in the Newham Voices from 18 March 2021, available at local supermarkets or online at www.newhamvoices.co.uk.