Hackney Youth Conference: Empowering Young People

Young people who live, work or go to school in Hackney are invited to the borough’s first ever Youth Conference, offering thought-provoking debates, screenings and interactive workshops, on Saturday 11 September, 11am to 4.30pm, at Hackney Town Hall.

Members of the Hackney Youth Parliament (HYP) and the four Area Youth forums (Homerton, North East, Shoreditch and Stoke Newington), with support from the Council’s Youth Service, have devised a programme packed with activities that both encourage dialogue among young people and invite them to come up with their own solutions to the challenging issues of the day.

Open to young people aged 11-19; the event will give them an opportunity to take part in topical debates and workshops. Highlights include a debate on the ripple effect of youth crime; as well as workshops on responsible dog ownership, tackling drug misuse, teen pregnancy and childhood obesity. Attendees will also be able to take part in the 2012 Personal Best fitness and endurance challenge.

Matthew Oyetunji, 17, HYP member, said: ‘Hackney has come a very long way from all the negative statistics and stereotypical values that it has been facing throughout the years. But we’re managing to turn this around with innovatively constructed events that show young people how they can create a positive future.”

The day will end with a post conference celebration, between 4.30pm and 6pm, featuring celebrity guests, live acts, fashion show, prizes, hot buffet and much more.

Alan Wood, Director for Children’s Services, said: “Throughout the work of the Hackney Youth Parliament, and our Area Youth Forums, ambitious targets have been set for better and more meaningful involvement of young people in the services and activities available to them in the borough. The Youth Conference will showcase some of what has been achieved through the hard work and commitment of all involved.”

Hackney’s inaugural Youth Conference for 11-19 year olds will take place at the Town Hall, Mare Street, E8, on Saturday 11 September. Places are limited and attendees will need to pre-register. Call, text or email: Mandy Richards on 07527 385680 or mandyrichards@hackney.gov.uk; Nazia Gofur on 07528 966522 or nazia.gofur@hackney.gov.uk

For more information on the HYP Conference, the 2010 Youth Parliament Elections and activities for Hackney’s young people, visit: www.younghackney.org

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