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It’s 2017!. It’s times for friends, family, and to look back on the past year, to create resolutions, a better self. After breaking up in December the LYC has had a chance to do the same. To wake up on January first, jump out of bed, stare in the mirror and say “Goodbye 2016, bring on 2016!”. Because a lot has happened over the past year, a lot has changed, and for the best honestly. As a youth council we have created our own ‘New Years Resolutions’ in the form of ‘New Year Department Briefs’ and outlined where we want the Youth Council to go and how we want to better the lives of young people. Before we can unveil those plans to the world we must first look back on 2016 and remember how we got here.
September to November of 2015 our current youth councillors ran and were elected into their positions and at around this time last year they began the real work began. A group of politically minded young strangers became an organised group of politicians, colleges, friends and made their mark on Lambeth. From going to a series of training sessions improving their ability as representatives of young people in Lambeth to going to a series of meetings including those with Labour MP for Streatham Chuka Umunna, really getting the voice and opinion of young people heard.
It would not be an understatement to say, however, that the real turning point of the youth council was in July of last year when our, at the time, new Senior Youth Participation Worker A. Wood joined the team and thrust us to where we are today. From then the Youth Council has sat and participated at Lambeth Health and Wellbeing Board meeting (and is planned to sit on their next meeting), held a Youth Gala, celebrating achievement and diversity of young people, we have been to an even larger and wider amount of events, and even created this website – making our voice heard by the community, which has also led to an estimated 80% increase in LYC membership.
It is sad to say that as we approach this New Year this great and beloved Youth Participation worker is leaving us to work as a Youth Worker elsewhere and I’m sure that wherever he goes great things will happen as the Youth Council will be loosing a tremendous asset. But instead of looking on the negative, I am reminded to look at the great things that have occurred because of him and remember that “everything happens” maybe not for a reason but it will always lead to good things. Which is something which I would ask us all to remember as the new year continues on. It is certainly something the Youth Council will keep in mind as we approach bumps in the road trying to create this good. We will certainly try to keep you updated on the progress. Until then – Happy New Year!
SYA Jamal Simon