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Head Girl at Burnt Mill promotes youth council

Burnt Mill Academy / Mon 2nd Nov 2015 at 11:21am

Head GirlTHE head girl of a Harlow school is on a mission to recruit other teenagers to join the town’s youth council.

Lucy Palmer, a Year 11 student at Burnt Mill Academy, in First Avenue, has been a member of Harlow Youth Council for two years and hopes to stay on until she’s no longer eligible.

The youth council is a locally elected group of 13 to 19-year-olds who live in or attend school in Harlow and represent the views and opinions of young people in the town.

Young people can have their say through their youth councillor about issues affecting them.
The head girl held an assembly at the school to tell Year 8 and 9 students all about the work of the youth council in the hope of recruiting more members.

Lucy, who encouraged 50 people to register their interest by taking a form compared to just ten last year, said: “I wanted to be involved in my community and make a difference for young people. During meetings, we talk about events we are planning and different issues such as education, mental health, youth people’s rights and Harlow. We each have different projects to work on; mine is the health project group where we are working with schools to get them to recognise young people with mental health issues.

“Being on the youth council also enables me to develop my public speaking skills and helped me to secure my position as head girl. I feel quite proud as I have the power to really make changes in Harlow. That makes me happy. I definitely want to stay until I’m 19 as I have made lots of friends and want to continue to make a difference.”

Lucy and her colleagues created a cycle route guide to encourage young people to get active and held an event where people were invited to walk or cycle the path they had mapped out.

Alan Webb, youth council support worker, said: “Lucy is a talented, hardworking and committed youth councillor who works diligently in her project groups, but who also attends various committee meetings to represent the youth council in the wider community.”

The council meets every Monday at the Civic Centre where the adult councillors hold their meetings and follow the same structure as the older group.

Those interested in joining the youth council should visit www.harlow.gov.uk/youth-council

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