A Message of Positivity from the Chair and Vice-Chair

Us young people are, and will, continue to be vital to democracy – it shapes the future world that we will live in and recent events have highlighted that the voices of young people are arguably the most important, considering that modern-day political decisions will be the ones that will resonate in our lifetimes.

Yesterday was International Youth Day, with this year’s theme, “Youth Engagement for Global Action” – a particularly poignant one at a time when young people across the globe are uniting to combat global threats such as ongoing humanitarian crises around the world and the threat that climate change poses. This year’s theme seeks to showcase the means in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions.

This year’s International Youth Day seeks to put the spotlight on the following:

  • Engagement at the local/community level;
  • Engagement at the national level;
  • Engagement at the global level.

Dartford Youth Council’s continued strive towards empowering the voices of young people both on a local and wider scale has recently been recognised at the Spirit of Try Angle Awards, an awards initiative recognising hard work and dedication from young people within Kent.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have continued to play a pivotal role within the local community, with our monthly meetings continuing online and a guest speaker from local charity ellenor in our most recent meeting discussing how young people can continue to fundraise during lockdown. As part of our wider community outreach, we also attended the UK Young Mayors’ Group (now International Youth Mayors’ Association) inaugural meeting which seeks to link youth-led organisations around the globe to collaboratively work towards joint projects.

Our elected members continue to be shiny young ambassadors for their schools, for the Kent County Youth Council, and in other capacities and there has never been a more important time to remind us that the current determination and perseverance shown by young people across the world will set the path towards a brighter and hopeful future.

We are looking to recruit a new cohort of youth councillors from all across Dartford and for the foreseeable future, revise our election process for both the full council and the Executive Committee – if you would be interested in applying to join the DYC, visit our contact form available here and we will get back to you.

For those getting their A-level or GCSE results in the coming weeks, members of DYC also share your concerns with many of us also in Year 11 and Year 13. We are interested to hear from you about how you are feeling about this, and would like to represent your voices.

Good luck to all of you and remember that if you don’t gain the results you were looking for, then there are still lots of other options going forward.

Please get in touch with us if you would like to, on vicechair@dartfordyouthcouncil.com

By Princess Nwafor and Ricky Taing

Elections 2019-2020

Dartford Youth Council’s first meeting of this academic year welcomed new members from across the borough for their executive committee election, offering seven senior positions including Chairman, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Web Administrator, PR Officer and Events Officer.

Dartford Youth Councillors joined by their new executive committee of 2019-2020 – Credit: Isobel Ibronike, Web Administrator

The meeting opened with a welcome from former Vice Chair Tom Gebbett where all new members had the opportunity to learn about what the role of a youth councillor entails, as well as welcoming guest speakers from the Volunteer Police Cadets to talk about their role in the community.

The executive committee elections had candidates from a variety of schools and youth groups, all having a short speech with candidates voted for democratically by members of the youth council.

I am very grateful to have been elected as Secretary of the Dartford Youth Council for this upcoming year. I believe that this executive team consists of passionate representatives of the council, all striving for change in Dartford. I hope to further strengthen our links with the Kent County Council, the elderly and youth in Dartford, and also with the Volunteer Cadets who visisted us today – all in the purpose of making Dartford a safer and happier place to be.

Zapran Carlsson, Secretary of the Dartford Youth Council

We welcomed Zapran Carlsson, Babafunto Ojo and Isobel Ibronike onto the Executive Committee for the first time, as well as re-elected youth councillors Danielle Okine, Ricky Taing, Toju and Princess Nwafor.

Commiserations must go to all of the unsuccessful candidates and we thank those who have moved on to further education or have left the council to pursue their careers.

Dartford Youth Council thanks Omolayo Oluwadare, David Martin-Garcia and Tom Gebbett for serving the Executive Committee from the previous academic year.

Our Work

We like to get involved with activities in Dartford and help wherever we can! In the past we have…


  • Dartford Youth Councillors Kweku and Krish newly elected as Member and Deputy Member of Youth Parliament (DMYPs) as part of the UK Youth Parliament (March 2021)
  • Dartford Youth Councillors Kweku and Krish were newly elected as Kent Youth County Councillors (January 2021)
  • Chairman Ricky was invited to lead the International Youth Mayors’ Association’s monthly meeting as rolling chairman (November 2020)
  • Secretary Sanya and Events Officer Funto launch this term’s fundraising project with ellenor Hospice raising over £300 (November 2020) read more donate here
  • Chairman Ricky was invited to represent the Dartford Youth Council at Dartford Borough Council’s Remembrance Service (November 2020) watch here
  • Newly elected Chairman Ricky hosts inaugural meeting welcoming new execs Sanya and Thomas along with returning members Funto, Isobel and Zapran (October 2020) read more
  • Introduced a new recruitment drive inviting schools to elect new members including a revised ‘welcome’ video and letter (September 2020) watch here


  • Chairman and Vice Chairman Princess and Ricky attended the UK Young Mayors’ Group inaugural meeting (July 2020)
  • Vice Chairman Ricky was invited as a international delegate for the Youth Parliament of Pakistan’s International Youth Parliamentary Conference to discuss the role of young people during the pandemic (June 2020) read more
  • Chairman and Dartford Youth Councillor Princess and Sanya volunteered at Dartford’s Santa House as part of Dartford Borough Council’s festive events (December 2019) read more
  • Elected a new Executive Committee with returning execs Princess, Ricky, Danielle and Toju and new execs Zapran, Isobel and Babafunto (November 2019) read more
  • Collected a Spirit of Try Angle Award for Community Action (October 2019) read more


  • Secretary Ricky was invited to perform at the Chairman of Kent County Council’s Civic Ceremony at County Hall (June 2019) read more
  • Dartford Youth Councillors Kristi and Holly volunteered with the Bridge for Young People’s Dartford District Try Angle Awards ceremony (November 2018)
  • We participated in an exciting cooking course at Dartford Science & Technology College (November 2018)
  • Attended the annual Remembrance Service in Dartford and paraded in the town centre (November 2018)
  • Elected a new Executive Committee with returning execs Ricky, Tom and Omolayo and new execs Princess, David and Toju (October 2018)


  • Dartford Youth Councillors enjoyed a trip to Ypres (July 2018) read more
  • Supported the Dartford Poppy Appeal by collecting donations in the town center (November 2017)
  • Elected the new Executive Committee with returning execs Joshua, Ricky and Matthew with new execs Omolayo, James, Tsemaye and Tom (October 2017)
  • Visited our friends at the Gardenia House (August 2017)


  • Helped out at the Dartford Festival (July 2017)
  • Helped out with Salvation Army, Dartford (December 2016)
  • Sang carols and played Christmas music to elderly people in Gardenia House (2016)
  • Elected a new Executive Committee (October 2016)
  • Raise money for Sport Relief with Dartford Harriers by running the three legged race and face painting. (2016)
  • Participated in a Swattenden Residential Course with various activities like rock climbing (2016)
  • Launch our support network. (2016)
  • Complete a first aid training course. (2016)
  • Raised funds for Comic Relief with face-painting, biscuit-decorating and games (2015)
  • Launched our own ‘Make Dartford Happy’ campaign and visited older people in a residential home for tea and a chat (2015)
  • Helped to distribute programmes and ran a stall at the Dartford Festival (2015)
  • Visited the Houses of Parliament (2015)

Executive Committee

The Dartford Youth Council’s Executive Committee is a group of seven young people who are elected by our members in the first Monthly Meeting each year. As the Dartford Youth Council’s lead representatives they hold specific leadership roles and lead the team in meetings and projects.

Our current 2020-21 Executive Committee consists of:


Ricky Taing


Having previously held the positions of Vice Chairman, Secretary and Public Relations Officer in the Youth Council, Ricky has been a long-serving member having joined in 2015. He is passionate about youth activism, and also serves an an ambassador to The RACE Network.

He manages a team of thirty students at his school journalism society at Dartford Grammar School, having interviewed Prime Minister Boris Johnson MP, Former Commander of the ISS Chris Hadfield as well as other notable names.

As a student of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music’s Junior Department, Ricky is passionate about music and he currently plays with the National Youth Concert Band of Great Britain, English Schools’ Orchestra among other Kent and Medway county youth ensembles.

In January 2019, Ricky was selected to attend the Spirit of Try Angle Awards Ceremony at the Ashford International Hotel to receive a county award for his contributions to music following a district award at the Bridge 4 Young People.

To invite the Chairman to an event (e.g. annual dinner), please get in touch with our Facilitator: elaine.henson@dartford.gov.uk

Get in touch: chairman@dartfordyouthcouncil.com

Zapran Carlsson


Zapran is currently a student at Dartford Grammar School studying towards his International Baccalaureate Diploma.

Having served on the youth council since 2018, he has enjoyed participating in events such as the Dartford Festival and Dartford Remembrance Service as well as other fundraising events.

He has a passion for music, having toured to Dartford’s twin town, Hanau, performing on the double bass in the DGS and DGGS Symphony Orchestra at their 50th Anniversary Concert welcoming the Deputy Mayor, as well as other notable dignitaries.

To invite the Vice Chair to an event (e.g. annual dinner), please get in touch with our Facilitator: elaine.henson@dartford.gov.uk

Get in touch: info@dartfordyouthcouncil.com

Sanya Sunil


Sanya is currently studying her A-levels in Economics, Maths and Politics and serves as the Deputy House Captain at her school. This year, Sanya aims to support the executive committee as much as possible and assist in any tasks needed.

She believes in recruiting more members to increase the representation of the youth council allowing for more consideration of young people from various schools.

In her free time, Sanya enjoys singing at her church as well as drawing.

Get in touch: info@dartfordyouthcouncil.com

Folabomi Ojo


To be updated…

Get in touch: info@dartfordyouthcouncil.com

Isobel Ibronike


Isobel is currently studying A-levels in Computer Science, Physics and Maths. At her school, she is a Computer Science Prefect and a STEM leader.

Outside of Dartford Youth Council, Isobel also volunteers as a young leader at a GirlGuides group.

This year, Isobel is aiming to raise the profile of Dartford Youth Council, and increase our engage with the community. Her highlight so far with the youth council was volunteering with the Refocus Project.

In her free time, she enjoys playing sports, reading books, hanging out with her friends and watching Netflix.

Get in touch: info@dartfordyouthcouncil.com

Thomas Gebbett


To be updated…

Get in touch: info@dartfordyouthcouncil.com

Babafunto Ojo


Babafunto Ojo is a Year 13 student at Dartford Grammar School for Boys, currently serving as a Wilson House Senior Prefect, and prides himself in helping to realise a positive change in our community.

In his free time, he enjoys playing sports, reading books and teaching music. He is currently a guitar music tutor, and takes pleasure in imparting his skills to others.

He is a passionate and enthusiastic individual, and is always keen and very willing to learn new skills that will not only benefit himself, but also the people around him. He has a creative mind when taking on a new project, and is always up for new challenges when they come.

Get in touch: info@dartfordyouthcouncil.com


The Dartford Youth Council’s first meeting, held digitally
ChairmanRicky Taing
Vice ChairZapran Carlsson
SecretarySanya Sunil
TreasurerFolabomi Ojo
Web AdministratorIsobel Ibironke
PR OfficerThomas Gebbett
Events OfficerBabafunto Ojo


The Dartford Youth Council team of 2019-20
ChairmanPrincess Nwafor
Vice ChairRicky Taing
SecretaryZapran Carlson
Web AdministratorIsobel Ibronike
PR OfficerDanielle Okine
Events OfficerBabafunto Ojo


The Dartford Youth Council team of 2018-19
ChairmanOmolayo Oluwadare
Vice ChairThomas Gebbett
SecretaryRicky Taing
Web AdministratorDavid Garcia
PR OfficerPrincess Nwafor
Events OfficerDanielle Okine


The Dartford Youth Council team of 2017-18 joined by Portfolio Holder Cllr Ann Allen
ChairmanMatthew D’Costa
Vice ChairJoshua Grills
SecretaryRicky Taing
TreasurerJames Rolls
Web AdministratorTsemaye
PR OfficerOmolayo Oluwadare
Events OfficerTom Gebbett


The Dartford Youth Council team of 2016-17
ChairmanChloe Louise Gebbett
Vice ChairMatthew D’Costa
SecretarySarah King
TreasurerCian Gavin / Charlie Grazebrook / Dan Bui
Web AdministratorJoshua Grills
PR OfficerRicky Taing
Events OfficerOmolayo Oluwadare


ChairmanChloe Louise Gebbett
Vice ChairTemi Oluwadare
SecretaryKishani Imiachchi
TreasurerItunu Abolarinwa
Web AdministratorOmolayo Oluwadare
PR OfficerCharlie Grazebrook
Events OfficerMatthew D’Costa


ChairmanChloe Louise Gebbett
Vice ChairEllen Oaten
SecretaryChris Willey
TreasurerThomas Glass-Burgess
Web AdministatorItunu Abolarinwa
PR OfficerLewis Field
Events OfficerTemi Oluwadare


The Dartford Youth Council team of 2013-2014, joined by Portfolio Holder Cllr Ann Allen
ChairmanOliver Baldwin
Vice ChairFaith Abiola
SecretaryJason Taing
TreasurerChloe Louise Gebbett
Web AdministratorKalei Ragavaloo
PR OfficerChris Willey
Events OfficerAmelia Dimond


ChairmanElizabeth Oke
Vice ChairMark Richardson
SecretaryMayowa Olufeko