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.
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.
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.
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)
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 2021-22 Executive Committee consists of:
Thomas has been a dedicated, long-serving member of the Youth Council since 2016 – having previously held the positions of Vice Chairman, Events Officer, and Public Relations Officer. His interests include both Geography and sport – and he particularly enjoys going to watch Arsenal matches in his free time.
Thomas is currently working towards his International Baccalaureate Diploma at Dartford Grammar School – studying English, Geography, and Philosophy at Higher Level.
In the future, Thomas aspires to study either Global Sustainable Development or Geography at the University of Warwick, Durham, or LSE. Additionally, his aim as chairman is to finish his final year on the council strong.
Zapran is currently a student at Dartford Grammar School, working towards his International Baccalaureate Diploma – and studying Chemistry, Biology, and Geography at Higher Level. Next year, he aspires to study Chemistry at the University of Bristol.
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.
Kweku became a member of the Youth council in 2020, and has been involved in various fundraising events – such as a sponsored walk for the ellenor charity.
Kweku is currently the Chair of the Social Media Project Group in the Kent Youth County Council – as well as a Deputy member of the Youth Parliament for Kent. Furthermore, Kweku is a passionate Clarinettist, who plays for the Kent Youth Wind Orchestra.
This year, Kweku’s aim is to amplify the voice of the youth, as well as to improve the mental health of young people in Dartford. In the future, he plans to study medicine at a Russel Group University – to later become a Doctor of Dermatology or Paediatrics.
Krish is currently studying for his GCSEs at Dartford Grammar School – which include Computer Science, History, Geography, and Chinese. In the future, he aspires to either study Medicine or PPE at an Ivy League University, or at Oxbridge respectively.
In his free time, Krish enjoys playing cricket and debating, particularly when it encompasses geopolitical factors – such as, in Model United Nations. He also devotes his time to further youth work, working alongside the Kent Youth County Council and UK Youth Parliament.
Since joining the Youth council in 2020, Krish aims to help promote and advertise Dartford Youth Council, in order to involve more young people with the local community – from simply supporting local events and charities, to ultimately the decisions our council makes.
Sarah is currently working towards her International Baccalaureate Diploma – studying Computer Science, Psychology, and Geography at Higher Level. At her school, she part of the Prefect team, as the Havelock House Captain.
Outside of Dartford Youth Council, she enjoys spending time with friends, going to concerts, and listening to music – as well as playing the saxophone. She also enjoys participating in sports, such as Dance and Netball.
This year, Sarah’s aim is to promote Dartford Youth Council to even more young people, and participate in various charity fundraising events to give back to the local community. In the future, she aspires to study Computer Science at university – to later become a software developer.
Tami is currently studying for her GCSEs at Dartford Grammar School for Girls – studying subjects such as Design Technology, Geography, French, and Physical Education.
In her free time, Tami enjoys taking part in various sports, such as Netball – where she regularly competes with her club at regional level. Additionally, she has recently developed an interest in Volleyball, which she plays at Dartford Volleyball Club. She also greatly enjoys both music and drama.
This year, Tami’s aim as events officer is to aid gatherings with other councils. In the future, she aims pursue a career in mechanical engineering, then specialise in robotics engineering.