In April 2014, I was proudly elected as a Youth Councillor for Epping Forest District Council, and since then I’ve spent over 170 hours volunteering. I regularly attend Youth Council meetings, and I also sit on the adult committee reviewing the Council’s youth engagement work.
As a Youth Councillor, I’ve campaigned to reduce the voting age to 16, and recently I lobbied the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and Transport for London, to add a date of birth line to the Zip Oyster Card so that young people can use it as a form of ID. I also helped organise a Youth Conference for 90 students to discuss local issues, organised a youth volunteer day in the Forest to tidy the woodland area, and helped set up ‘#U R Not Alone’, a bullying awareness project for Year Nines. We posted information to help those suffering from bullying on the Youth Council website, and gave 1,200 students a memory stick to download the advice.
It’s great to know that what we’re doing is appreciated by the wider community too – recently, our Youth Council received the High Sheriffs’ Shield 2015 in recognition of our valuable contribution to Essex. I’m proud to stand up for young people and make a difference to our local area at the same time.