Ambitious youngsters have won funding to make their ideas become reality after successfully pitching plans to benefit their community to Croydon’s Young Mayor and his panel.
Young Mayor William Awomoyi, Deputy Young Mayor Shea Williams and their panel of youth cabinet members have awarded funding to three exciting new initiatives, developed by young people to benefit other young residents.
Panel members determined applications after hearing from the project leaders, who were invited to pitch their ideas in person yesterday (22 August) following their initial application to the Young Mayor’s Fund.
The successful projects included a scheme to create and promote ‘safe havens’ in New Addington’s centre, where young people can go for help if other people’s behaviour is making them feel unsafe or uncomfortable. Applicants Emily Newbury, 12, and George Suter, 13, supported by the New Addington Pathfinders and backed by New Addington BID, applied for and received £309.
The panel also awarded Albi Aolad, 13, Meryem Demirpolat, 12, and Chikamso Ekele, 15, £1,000 to develop a mentoring programme for secondary school pupils to support groups of younger primary school children, helping to boost their resilience and academic achievement. The proposal was backed by the Lighthouse Educational Society.
Millie-May Welch and Chione White, both 16, were awarded £1,000 to develop a series of projects and workshops for young people to explore the issues around and impact of knife crime through the arts, working together to produce a film and spoken word. Their bid was sponsored by Playplace.
Chione said: “Its good to know that the council are behind us – as well as young people helping young people, we are aware that people that actually care. Behind us there are people that want to help and support us more than we want to help and support ourselves.”
All grants are awarded subject to entry criteria being fulfilled. Projects will be delivered in autumn 2018.
William said: “I’m delighted to award funding to these projects and want to thank all those who pitched their excellent ideas and the panel for their support. This is only the beginning – there will be more opportunities to apply to the Young Mayor’s Fund throughout the year so watch this space! We’ll be inviting more applications at the end of this year. Next time it could be you.”
Shea added: “It has been a great experience for us being on the other side of the bench – usually I am the one pitching ideas, so it was really interesting.”
“It’s great to see our Young Mayor and his panel playing a key role in local democracy and empowering other young people to make a positive change in their communities. This process and these projects go to the heart of our Choose Your Future campaign, where we are supporting young people to make the right choices and giving them positive opportunities. I can’t wait to see these fantastic ideas become a reality.” ”
Councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council
For more information on the Young Mayor’s Fund visit the council’s webpage.