Youth Power! H&F's younger generation takes the lead

Local youngsters made their voice heard last week and elected a fresh new Youth Cabinet for 2024-26. The winners were announced by H&F Mayor Cllr Patricia Quigley.

From left to right: Youth Parliament Member Ellaria Mengistu and Deputy Member Ealaf Al-Najar, with newly-elected H&F Youth Mayor Albi Fenner and Deputy Youth Mayor Precisa Getsevich

Local youngsters made their voice heard last week and elected a fresh new Youth Cabinet for 2024-26.

After four weeks campaigning – on issues ranging from financial literacy to co-production, work experience and mental health support – the competition was fierce, and excitement was high election night.

The passionate leaders of tomorrow were almost divided down the middle, six running to be H&F’s next Youth Mayor and seven to be the borough’s Member of Youth Parliament.

Their modern twist on democracy included a video campaign, introducing themselves to their voting public.

On election night, Thursday 14 March, the 13 democratic disruptors joined H&F Mayor Cllr Patricia Quigley on stage to hear the results. Facing an audience of family and friends on tenterhooks.

“Congratulations to H&F’s new Youth Cabinet,” said Cllr Quigley.

“Using your voice to vote and have a say in your future is so important, and it’s been fantastic to hear how many local young people got involved. I look forward to working with the new Youth Cabinet to build an even better future for H&F’s young people.”  

In total more than 3,000 11- to- 19-year-olds voted for who they wanted as their Youth Mayor, Deputy Youth Mayor, Member of Youth Parliament, and Deputy Member of Youth Parliament.

Check out all the photos from the evening here.

From Youth Councillor to Youth Mayor

Announced first on the night was Youth Mayor and Deputy Youth Mayor. Competition was fierce, with six young people running for the roles.

Youth Councillor Albi Fenner, from Hammersmith, snagged the job. 

The 16-year-old, who has ADHD and Autism, wants to be a role model for others and to encourage young people to be confident and strong regardless of their background.

“My experiences have made me a strong leader,” Albi explained during his campaign for Youth Mayor. “I believe nobody should be left behind and am especially passionate about all these issues due to my own lived experience.”

On winning Albi said:

I'm honoured and humbled to be voted as the Youth Mayor. It’s a privilege to be able to support, influence and empower young people to drive our manifesto and priorities to bring change.

New Youth Mayour for H&F, Albi Fenner

Fellow Youth Councillor Precisa Getsevich, 11, was voted in as Deputy Youth Mayor.

The Fulham-born entrepreneur was H&F’s youngest Youth Councillor when she joined Youth Council and ran because she wanted to help other young people learn the skills to launch their own small business.

I am very happy and overwhelmed with emotions,” she said. “I am hugely grateful and thankful to everyone who voted for me, and I am excited to be making a change in our borough that will benefit everyone with our newly elected youth cabinet.

In their new roles Albi and Precisa will have the chance to accompany Cllr Quigley to some of the events and ceremonies she is invited to.

Deputy Youth Mayor, Precisa Getsevich

Member of Youth Parliament 

Seven young people campaigned to be H&F’s next Member of Youth Parliament.

As well as representing H&F’s young people regionally, the Member of Youth Parliament also represents local young people at an annual debate in the House of Commons.

Fulham Cross Girls student Ealaf Al-Najar, 16, was elected for the role.

“I'm extremely honoured that young people across the borough in different institutions have voted for me as their Member of Youth Parliament,” she said.

"I'm really looking forward to being able to put the manifesto I was elected in for into action and have an impact on young people in H&F, and young people altogether on a more national scale. The level of determination we as young people have is unmatched and I'm really excited to see the changes that we can make.”

Ellaria Mengistu, 18, from Fulham, was voted in as H&F’s Deputy Member of Youth Parliament.

“Being elected as Deputy Member of Youth Parliament is very exhilarating,” she said after hearing the news. “It’s an opportunity to amplify my voice and allows me to have the responsibility to represent the concerns of young people.”

New Youth Parliament Member Ealaf Al-Najar (left) and Deputy Youth Parliament Member Ellaria Mengistu (second from right)

Get involved in Youth Council

If you’re aged 11 to 25 and live, go to school or work in H&F, you can join H&F’s Youth Council. It’s free and you can join at any time.

Find out more about the Youth Council’s key priorities and how they help shape the future of H&F through our Youth Voice webpage.

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