On November 30th, 2023, the Enfield Youth Council orchestrated their first Enfield Youth Conference, a gathering that brought together various youth groups, school councils, and young individuals with the shared goal of making a positive impact on the local community. Hosted by the dynamic young mayor, Darren Paul, the conference provided a platform for the Enfield Youth Council to share their journey and shed light on their ambitious projects, particularly the Empowering Young Enfield Priorities Project.
Darren said, “The Empowering Young Enfield Priorities project aims to create campaigns to work towards achieving two of the 6 Empowering Young Enfield Priorities which are set out in The Children and Young People’s Plan (CYPP). The priorities were sent to schools and youth settings encouraging young people across Enfield to vote for the two priorities that were most significant to them. The Priorities with the highest votes were:
1. Children and young people are safe and protected from harm in all places and spaces
2. Children and young people have access to an excellent education, are ready to learn when they start school and leave with the skills they need for life and the world of work”
The Enfield Youth Council recognizes that safety is a paramount concern for the community’s well-being as voted for by most of the young people that took part in the survey. In their efforts to enhance safety within Enfield, Leyla Riley (EYC member) expressed that theEnfield Youth Council met with the Superintendent of the MET and Policy Makers to analyse statistics and gain a deeper understanding of Safety within Enfield. They then used this information to create the following projects:
Aim: To create a short film/video to tackle knife crime among the youth. The Enfield Youth Council are currently working in partnership with the MET Police to create a short film which will focus on the aftermath of knife crime.
Aim: To ensure that young people can identify early signs of abuse
The Enfield Youth Council are working with the Targeted Outreach Worker to create a workshop which focuses on bringing awareness to the early signs of domestic violence. It is intended that these workshops will then be delivered in schools.
Sila Karapinar (Young Deputy Mayor) voiced the importance of Education in shaping the futures of young people in Enfield and spoke about the two projects that they have been working to develop to enhance education:
Aim: To promote reading for children and young people in Enfield
The Enfield Youth Council would like to create a programme where reading mentors go to schools and libraries to read with young people that are just below age-related expectations.
2. Financial Education
Aim: Influence schools/headteachers to sign up to free HSBC workshops to deliver financial education in schools.
The Enfield Youth Council are working in partnership with HSBC to deliver free financial education workshops within schools.
Following this, The Enfield Youth Council asked their young peers to express their voices on what safety and education meant to them and asked what changes they would like to see. Young people worked in groups of 8 to discuss these topic areas and leave suggestions that the Enfield Youth Council promised to look at in their next meeting and implement their ideas into future plans. They then got the opportunity to voice their thoughts during the conversation café.
The Enfield Youth Conference not only showcased the enthusiasm and dedication of the Enfield Youth Council but also demonstrated the importance of youth-led initiatives in shaping the future of the community.