Youth Mayor and Youth Parliament election manifestos

If you’re aged 11-19, you’re eligible to vote in Hammersmith & Fulham’s Youth Mayor and Youth Parliament elections, Monday 7 March to Friday 18 March.

Elections will be held online and run by schools and youth projects across H&F Children’s services will also be reaching out to young people not currently in school.

Watch the video of candidates talking about why they want to be youth councillors

Youth Mayor nominations

Image caption: Niamh Faleye

Niamh Faleye, 14, Hurlingham Academy

I am very devoted to the things that I do, and I love to listen to people and hear their stories and what they have to say, I always have a big smile on my face and I’m friendly and approachable.

I would make a GREAT Youth Mayor because I care. Everything I do I give 100% and Youth Mayor will be no different. My passion is helping others and effecting the change that I want to see in the world, one day I hope to be a lawyer, changing the system from the inside, but until then I’d like to do everything I can to make the futures of the people in this borough bright. Listening and compromising is a key part of this role and I’m great at both, as your Youth Mayor, I would listen to what each of you want and do my best to make it happen, and where you that’s not exactly possible I would compromise to get as close as.

An issue affecting young people that I would like to work on in if I am elected is integration (mixing) in schools and establishments.

I’d work on trying to close the gap between minority groups not just ethnically but financially and in terms of sexual orientation; and disabilities, creating spaces in all schools for students to engage in open conversations. This is also something that I am passionate about, our differences aren’t a bad thing, they’re something to be praised and if I were your Youth Mayor, I would make sure to always celebrate them. A united Hammersmith and Fulham is a stronger Hammersmith and Fulham.

Image caption: Giovanna Menezes

Giovanna Menezes, 16, Sacred Heart High School

I'd like to think that I'm quite determined and passionate when it comes to achieving my goals.

I would make a GREAT MAYOR because I’m determined and passionate when it comes to achieving my goals.

An issue affecting young people that I would like to work on in if I am elected is giving young people a voice in their education.

I'm running for youth mayor because covid-19 has highlighted some major issues to me in our educational system that I want to help tackle.

We are not given a voice when it comes to the exams we sit, the subjects we learn or even the support we require. We learn nothing about our country's politics, finance or laws which are crucial in preparing us for adulthood. We don't have any say on how we are assessed. Our futures depend on grades determined by a few days of our lives, and we’ve never been asked about what support we’d like to receive during the pandemic, whether emotional or educational help.

We are expected to come back from a two-year pandemic as if nothing happened. Some of us have lost loved ones whereas others have just struggled with the isolation lockdown caused. But without taking our thoughts and views into consideration, no matter how hard our schools try, it's no use.

So, if I’m elected, I plan on trying to bring attention to how we have not been given a voice about the education we receive, and making a change for the better, striving for our schools to be a place where our opinions are listened to and acted upon, because our education system is not evolving alongside the rest of the world, it has remained at a stand-still and it’s time to change that.

Image caption: Ben Ruzbehan

Ben Ruzbehan, 16, Phoenix Academy

I believe I am kind, confident and candid.  Also, I’m driven and very opinionated and I believe I will be the perfect candidate to represent the youth of Hammersmith and Fulham.

I would make a GREAT YOUTH MAYOR because coming from very humble beginnings myself, I have experience with poverty and the ripple effects it has on crime and on the mental health of people subjected to it. I am very sympathetic and am very much a people person.

Issues affecting young people that I would like to work on if I am elected is to help raise social awareness, which I believe would reduce crime, increase tolerance of minorities and provide better support for youths that need it.

Image caption: Matilda Genieser

Matilda Genieser, 16, St Paul’s Girls’ School

I am responsible, understanding, reliable, creative, flexible.

I would make a GREAT YOUTH MAYOR because this past year, I’ve been lucky enough to work with Scarlett, our current Youth Mayor, as a member of the Youth Cabinet, so I feel that I understand the role and accompanying responsibility well.

Being in Youth Cabinet allowed me to experience first-hand the workload that comes with the role and what qualities are needed to excel as Youth Mayor. I feel it is very important for young people in Hammersmith and Fulham to have someone in this position who is relatable and approachable so that they can feel comfortable expressing and sharing their own ideas.

An issue affecting young people that I would like to work on in if I am elected is youth representation in the borough.

As Youth Mayor, I would use my platform to ensure everyone has the possibility to help with the decisions made on their behalf. From my work on Youth Council, I have had the ability to have my say in the decisions made in the borough and would like to extend this opportunity to others in the community. One way I would implement this, is to host, whether virtual or in person, drop-in hours with the youth mayor so that people can raise any issues or concerns in an informal setting.

This is especially important to me, as I see this as the first step for the young people of Hammersmith and Fulham to understanding how important their voice is to the local government.

Image caption: Malachi John

Malachi John, 16, lives in Shepherds Bush

I am a Youth Councillor, in the Army Cadets, and am a good communicator, listener and team builder.

I would make a GREAT YOUTH MAYOR because I feel like people from different age ranges understand me from children to the elderly, I have good ideas and feel I can inspire others to have a voice in my community.

An issue affecting young people that I would like to work on in if I am elected is inspiring ethnic minorities in our borough to feel confident, to speak out, have a voice, that they often don’t feel they have. To let them know that everyone has a right to have a say and to be listened to and that everyone’s opinions count.

Image caption: Alex Van Wyk

Alex Van Wyk, 17, St Paul’s Girls’ School

I am committed and dedicated. I dedicate myself completely to everything I do, and as Youth Mayor I would be entirely dedicated to improving our borough.

I would make a GREAT YOUTH MAYOR because I’ve been a member of Youth Council for over a year and have already stepped up to help lead it. This means I have lots of great experience for the role.

An issue affecting young people that I would like to work on if I am elected is equipping young people in the borough for the future.

Increasing access to jobs, training and other career opportunities was voted one of young people in the borough’s top concerns. Every young person deserves the opportunity to have the best future possible and I want to do whatever I can to make that happen.

I would work with the council on developing a youth hub website and social media platform with training and career opportunities and information on life skills such as self- care and managing money. I’d also create peer mentoring schemes, through which older students help younger students with schoolwork and to offer them advice and support.

My other priority is protecting the environment, which is vital for our future. I want to work with the council to improve cycle lanes, build recycling bins for electronics and other items, and provide accessible information on what young people in the borough can do at home to protect the environment”

Image caption: Natasha Simm

Natasha Simm, Godolphin and Latymer School

I like to think that I’m a good listener who takes on board other people’s ideas, and I always try to apply myself to the best of my ability to anything that’s thrown my way.

I would make a GREAT YOUTH MAYOR because I would fully commit to any plans that I intend to implement, and I feel passionate about ensuring that we, as young people, are listened to equally to adults.

An issue affecting young people that I would like to work on if I am elected is extending the work that I have done as part of the Youth Council in working to improve the way in which we can access mental health services across the borough. If you too would like to open up the conversation about mental health, I hope you’ll consider voting for me as Youth Mayor.

Image caption: Junaynah Khan

Junaynah Khan, 14, Burlington Danes Academy

I am hard working, skilled, resilient, and confident.

I would make a GREAT YOUTH MAYOR because I love standing up for people’s rights and making changes as I believe that everywhere and everything needs some sort of improvement. I’d love to make sure that people who are not so confident in themselves have the chance to express their opinions to people so we can make sure that everyone is capable of being accepted and being part of this society.

I’d not just focus on one area of improvement, but I would, in fact, get people’s opinions about how they feel and how comfortable they are with their schools, homes and day-to-day environments. If there is any complaint about something regarding someone’s social well-being, their safety, or their education, I would make sure that this is tackled and resolved.

Issues affecting young people that I would like to work on if I am elected are social well-being, safety, and education as all of these are key to living a happy and healthy life. I believe that everyone deserves a chance to have this experience and (especially because of COVID-19) get to do things that they were incapable of doing before lockdown.

I am willing to fulfil my duty of keeping our community happy, comfortable and able to speak their minds without being told they can’t because of their race, gender, religion, etc.

Member of Youth Parliament nominations

Image caption: Junaynah Khan

Anastasia Odusanwo, 16, Hurlingham Academy

I am hardworking, caring, selfless, and have great communication skills.

I would make a GREAT Member of Youth Parliament because I’m a good listener and that’s one of the most important qualities to have in this role because often people get so caught up in their agendas and manifesto ideas that they will forget an MYP is an act of service to your community.

While it’s important for me to fulfil my manifesto, it’s more important to listen to you and represent your ideas as much as I can, and I vow to do that if I’m elected. After all, the ultimate aim of Youth Parliament is to improve the experiences young people have so I’d like to work as closely as possible with you to make that happen.

An issue affecting young people that I would like to work on if I am elected is education in careers and skills for life. We know what it takes to be a nurse or doctor, but what about untraditional careers like acting, sport, social media, and fashion? Society is adapting and not everyone wants a 9-5; more young people want to turn their passions into professions.

We should also be taught skills for life, because barely any of us know how taxes work, how bills and mortgages work. These are all important things that we need in later life and should be taught to us.

Image caption: Chelsey Averdung

Chelsey Averdung, 13, Fulham Cross Girls School

I am responsible, caring and articulate. 

I would make a GREAT Member of Youth Parliament because I am currently a part of the Youth Council who have been carrying out fantastic projects from last year to now, voicing the opinions and concerns of other young people in the area. As I am a part of the Youth Council I feel like this experience with help me in the Youth Parliament as it is important to be able to communicate easily with other Young People.

An issue affecting young people that I would like to work on if I am elected is to make more jobs and apprenticeship opportunities for young people.

Getting them involved in helping the environment by making projects with schools across London and making sure that they feel safe and know that if they had any concerns either within their borough or elsewhere that they can voice their opinions to the Youth Parliament. The Youth Parliament was made to make the lives of young people better and easier and this would be an opportunity for me to help strengthen the community and voice their beliefs and judgement.

Image caption: Lara Medic

Lara Medic, 16, Latymer Upper

Some of my best qualities are that I’m sociable, always willing to learn and, most importantly, determined to contribute to helping our borough grow as much as possible.

I would make a GREAT Member of Youth Parliament because not only am I compassionate, but I’m driven, focused, and aspire to represent absolutely everyone's voices. I always speak out for what I believe in, and I am someone who will make change for good, no matter what.

An issue affecting young people that I would like to work on if I am elected is mental health.

This is a generic term for it, but I want people to learn about just how big of a role it plays in every aspect of our lives, and I’d like a focus and exploration of especially male mental health, which isn’t talked about often enough.

Image caption: Vince Bigas

Vince Bigas, 16, Fulham Cross Academy

Having been the Head Student at my school I believe I have built up my leadership skills- having an open mind and being aware of issues surrounding my peers.

I would make a GREAT Member of Youth Parliament because over the years I’ve found confidence in using my voice, and I aspire to help others find theirs and encourage them to productively speak up about issues that concern them. I also believe myself to be an empathetic person which allows me to communicate effectively with others, a vital skill needed to be MYP.

An issue affecting young people that I would like to work on if I am elected is mental health.

I would like to work on mental health, particularly loneliness. I would like to enhance the relationships in our community, especially after the pandemic where we’ve all been so connected by the internet, yet still so disconnected in real life. I want to focus on what leads a person to have a negative wellbeing. Tackling loneliness would not only help mitigate chances of mental illnesses but encourage the idea that we face issues as a community.

Image caption: Aseel Saaid

Aseel Saaid, 13, Fulham Cross Girls School

I am kind, optimistic, determined, full of curiosity, adaptable, open-minded, patient, social, brave, caring, understanding, funny (at times).

I would make a GREAT Member of Youth Parliament because I have many interests and I can understand other people and allow other people to understand me. I also have a bubbly personality and that means that I understand different types of people and their personalities, and I know how to get my point across to them.

An issue affecting young people that I would like to work on in if I am elected is violence.

Violence can be shown in different ways. For example, one of them is a response to economic stress or it can be an act that can be a result of a mentally distressed mind. This is a global issue that means it happens everywhere.

To change the world is to change our mindset for the better. Violence is caused because of society. I want to change this society so we can live how we dream to with nothing holding us back. Not how people view us, not how people talk to us, nothing.