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University of East London holds forum to address issues facing young people in Newham

PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 May 2018

Some of the attendees at the Newham Youth Independent Advisory Group meeting Picture: UEL

Some of the attendees at the Newham Youth Independent Advisory Group meeting Picture: UEL

UEL

More than 100 young people took part in a forum at the University of East London to address the challenges faced by people living in the borough.

This event, which was also attended by the mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz, police officers, youth workers and other experts, marked the first meeting of the Newham Youth Independent Advisory Group.

Geoff Thomas, the university’s chair of governors, invited the group to attend.

He said: “It was an honour to host the first ever meeting of this important youth forum and to welcome more than a hundred young people and such a distinguished panel of experts to our university.”

“I am passionate about providing safe spaces for young people to air their concerns and discuss potential solutions, and we look forward to working collaboratively with the advisory group and other partners to address the issues being faced by young people in our community.”

The meeting, at the Stratford campus, was open to any person age 11 to 30, who lives or studies in Newham or who is passionate about creating a safe space for young people.

The meeting’s goal was to encourage participants to address particular topics including what leads young people to crime, how young people can stay safe, building relationships, mentoring, positive role models, and creative ways to teach and learn.

Topics discussed covered a variety of issues including, cyber bullying, police’s use of stop and search, school exclusions and mental health services available in the borough.

Ms Fiaz said she planned to stand by her campaign promise to improve the lives of young people in Newham.

She said she wants more young people’s voices to be heard within their community.

She said: “While I appreciate all the great work that’s been done to date, I am concerned that there are some important areas where some people are slipping through the gaps.

“I’m not getting a sense that young people’s voices are being heard sufficiently and I don’t understand why they are not continuously around the table.”

Similar meetings are expected to be held in the future.

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