Youth First is a youth and employee-led organisation, so each year young people are elected as Youth Directors and board members of the organisation. A Youth Director attends meetings and helps to make decisions on behalf of the company. They collect the views of their peers to ensure they are expressed in board meetings.
This year there are four candidates standing for the position of Youth Director 2017/18: Alana Moritt, Amy West, Rhianon Montaque and Joel Owusu-Ansah.
Young people registered at one of our sites can vote for the candidate of their choice. The candidates received training on Tuesday 3rd October at Civic Suite, Catford and will be campaigning across youth clubs and adventure playgrounds until the voting week.
Voting week is Monday 6th November to Thursday 9th November and all sites will be polling stations during their regular youth club sessions. Results will be announced on Friday 10th November 2017 at Bellingham Gateway Youth Centre.
Each candidate wrote an election statement and recorded a simple manifesto video. These follow below:
Alana Moritt: My name is Alana and I have attended Deptford Adventure Playground since I was in year three. I have been a part of the youth Forum at Deptford Adventure Playground for two years and won the Jack Petchey award for Young achiever. I would like to be a Youth director because I would like to change the activities that happen, and introduce a scheme for mental health and well-being.
I would like to introduce more activities such as cooking, arts and trivia (quizzes) as it can involve all young people to interact with one another and hopefully brings them together. Also young people should be more aware of mental health issues and how to cope/deal with things, as it is not always addressed.
I would fund my ideas by having small events such as bake sales, movie nights and raffles. I would also seek for local support as well as big companies such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s.
Amy West: Hello my name is Amy, I want to run for Youth Director as I have been attending Youth Clubs and Adventure Playgrounds since the age of five. I have followed the growth of Youth First and I believe can offer new ideas and continue the development of the service.
If I was elected for youth director I would first change the fact staff run most events. I would do this by creating an events group and allowing young people to take charge of the planning and managing. An example of this could be summer barbecues.
Secondly I would seek to develop partnerships between schools and youth clubs, for example, work together to organise an afternoon where we could do outreach in the school’s premises to bring more young people to our sites at Youth First.
Lastly I would hope to push for more youth clubs to be opened as we don’t have many of these any more. To do this I would need funding and support from young people. A way of finding this would be running fundraisers across the service, for example, fun days which young people will enjoy whilst making money and it will hopefully make them understand the need to make things happen.
Rhianon Montaque: Hello, my name is Rhianon. I’m 16 and I still live and have lived in Lewisham for 14 years and have attended a Lewisham primary and secondary school. I am a dedicated young lady and capable of using my own initiative.
I will put 100% effort into being a Youth Director. If elected I would like to make some changes to our local environment. I would support young people as young people are the future! My focus is for Youth First to be working with the young people towards their personal goals by having sessions with young people, for example, girl sessions, boy sessions and mixed. I would also like to have one-to-one mentoring sessions.
My other passions are to: decrease the amount of dog waste / make it a much happier place, tell people more about youth clubs and, decrease youth violence.
I would like to make sure that youth projects are making an effective and positive change in Lewisham by having evaluation sheets.
You should vote for me as I am responsible, open-minded, and if anyone would make a difference to Lewisham it would be me!
Joel Owusu-Ansah: Hi, my name is Joel and I am currently running to be Youth Director. I have lived in Lewisham all my life which gives me more of an idea of what changes need to be made. I have been a long standing member of Deptford Adventure Playground so I know what some of the things young people like and would like to see change. I am a very positive and energetic individual who can give 100% effort into what is needed.
The reason why I am running to be a Youth Director is because I want the voices of young people to be heard and taken into account. I would visit other Adventure Playgrounds and Youth centres to collect their views on what changes they want to see made. A passion of mine is football because it keeps me fit and busy. If I were to become a Youth director, I would create a football tournament which would be available to all genders which would bring different young people around Lewisham together. I believe people should vote for me due to the fact that I will try my hardest to bring your ideas to life.