Croydon’s young leaders have reunited after taking a step back because of the global pandemic – and are working to improve mental health for young people in the borough as they relaunch the Croydon Youth Assembly.
Held in the council chamber at Croydon Town Hall, their first meeting of 2022 was attended by Councillor Alisa Flemming and former Croydon Young Mayor, William Awomoyi. The session was led by the chair of the assembly and former chair of the London Youth Assembly, Sumaiya Bangura.
The young people came to the consensus that, after prolonged periods of isolation and disruptions to daily life due to Covid-19, their top priority going forward should be mental health.
Out of this first meeting of the year, the assembly is dedicating themselves to developing a mental health first aid tool kit made for young people by young people. The hope is that this will help young people to address mental health issues by providing coping strategies for those affected, directly and indirectly, by mental health issues.
Croydon’s Youth Assembly is also aiming to grow the assembly to encompass more schools and youth organisations. The next meeting of the group will be in April at which they seek to elect two vice-chairs to support the chair and expand the group’s growing network. Any secondary school or youth organisation in the borough can join Croydon Youth Assembly, for more information email Boris.Rupnik@croydon.gov.uk.
Sumaiya Bangura, chair of the Croydon Youth Assembly, said: “Croydon is significant in so many different ways just like its young people. Today we might be in the council chamber but tomorrow you could be in City Hall. It all starts small; it’s the small steps we take today which lead to bigger leaps.”
Councillor Alisa Flemming, cabinet member for children, young people and learning
“Croydon is proud to have the largest population of young people in London. They are the future of our borough and the future needs a solid foundation today. That’s why we are working closely with young people to understand their priorities, hopes and needs, so that we can support them and create positive opportunities for them to thrive. I look forward to working with them on their top priority of mental health this year.”