Two young women from Wigan Borough are aiming to encourage equality and combat racism across the UK after securing places on a national youth board.
Adila Badri, 16, and Layan Hassan, 14, have been selected to take up two of only 40 available places on the British Youth Council’s panel of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) representatives.
The panel will give Layan and Adila the chance to speak about the issues facing BAME young people and their families and address concerns by meeting with decision makers at a local, regional, and national level.
“One of the things I’m looking forward to in my new role is being able to address systematic racism. It’s long been a plague in our society and it’s time to find a cure.
“Young people should be able to feel accepted and welcome everywhere in the UK and to never feel ashamed of who they are or where they come from. I want everyone to be able to relish their history and feel confident in their identity.”
Both Adila and Layan are members of Wigan and Leigh Youth Cabinet, a group set up and run by Wigan Council to enable young people to have their say and make a difference on the issues that concern them.
Councillor Susan Gambles, Lead Member for Youth Opportunities, said:
“It’s fantastic that our borough has two representatives on this national panel, after hundreds of young people across the country applied for these positions, although I am not surprised that Layan and Adila stood out as they are both exceptional young women.
“It is no accident that young people from Wigan and Leigh Youth Cabinet keep putting the borough on the map. Their involvement in the Youth Cabinet, with the support of some incredible youth workers, has given them has helped them to grow in confidence, believe in their abilities, and trust in their own ideas and goals.”
Layan is celebrating a double success as she has also just secured an important regional role, at Greater Manchester Youth Combined Authority (GMYCA), which influences policy and decision-making on young people’s issues at a North West level.
Layan will take up one of only four roles on the regional organisation’s new leadership team. She said:
“I’m so proud to be representing young people at both a regional and national level and I want to do all I can to make young people’s voices heard.
“As a BAME young person, I believe we should all have a say and I’m looking forward to making sure that BAME young people are well represented. If we have our voices heard we can feel empowered and become leaders in the future. I want to reassure all BAME young people that I am reaching out to help make a better future for everyone.”
Councillor Gambles added:
“The skills and qualities these young women have developed here in the borough will be put to good use at a regional and national level. Wigan Council, the GMYCA and the British Youth Council are very lucky to have them working with us.”
Young people aged 11-18 are welcome to join Wigan and Leigh Youth Cabinet. The group meets once a week (currently online) and helps to represent young people across the borough.
For more information, email Wigan Council’s targeted youth support services on [email protected]