Dartford Youth Council’s Festive Fundraising Walk

Over the past few weeks, fourteen Dartford Youth Council members participated in a 1k+ festive fundraising walk to raise money for ellenor, a local charity providing hospice care for people of all ages whilst supporting families facing terminal illness in Kent and Bexley.

The walk was completed independently by members or with individuals within their household during the Christmas holidays. Members worked hard to find sponsors who donated money through the JustGiving page. The fundraiser was also advertised on the Dartford Youth Council website.

As part of ellenor’s Accumulator challenge, DYC members managed to raise £325 through all the generous donations provided by friends and family. ellenor is the only charity in Kent to provide hospice care for people of all ages. Their care includes pain and symptom relief, palliative care, end of life care, respite, bereavement support and emotional and spiritual care.

Well done to our members! 👏👏

“It was genuinely so lovely to do this, especially in these circumstances, hopefully there will be more to look forward to in the future!”

Rejina Ghale, DYC Member

Melissa Bourne, the local ellenor supporter engagement officer worked closely with us to make this walk possible.

“It is wonderful to see such an enthusiastic group of students from around Dartford keen to take on a fundraising challenge for their local hospice.  Having met the students virtually to give them some inspiration earlier this year, they decided on their challenge, set up a JustGiving page and were obviously fantastic at gaining sponsorship as they raised a brilliant £325. The festive walk was a brilliant way for all of the students to take part as they could do this on their own or as part of a family group.

The funds raised from the walk could help ellenor to provide six hours of physiotherapy to support a patient at home.

Fundraising has been extremely difficult this year, but the students were able to come up with a brilliant idea that they were able to adapt to suit the restrictions they faced.  I am very much looking forward to seeing what other innovative fundraising ideas they come up with over the next few months.”

Melissa Bourne, Supporter Engagement Officer ellenor

Dartford Youth Council is a group of young people aged 18 and under who get involved within their community, work alongside the Dartford Borough Council, making a difference through campaigning and volunteering and gaining skills that could benefit themselves for the rest of their lives.

Dartford Youth Council Vice Chairman Zapran Carlsson also worked closely as part of the fundraising initiative, commenting:

“It was a great delight to see so many of our members participating in the fundraising walk for ellenor. Together, we raised an exceptional amount of £325 in total, an amount far greater than what we had hoped for! Well done everybody!”

Zapran Carlsson, DYC Vice Chairman

All donations are much appreciated by the DYC Team and we look forward to more opportunities in the future. To donate to our JustGiving page, click here.

By Sanya Sunil

All information correct as of 08/01/2021

Dartford Borough Council streams Remembrance Service online

Thousands watched Dartford’s Remembrance Service held online, as a select number of invited representatives gathered at the War Memorial in Central Park to pay their respects.

Due to social distancing measures, no public gathering took place but people were able to watch the service from an online video stream provided by the Dartford Borough Council’s Dartford Together page.

Attendees gathered at the park at 10:40am and were then escorted to the memorial to lay their wreaths.

A two-minute silence at 11am gave pause to remember those who lost their lives during conflicts across the globe.

We invite you to watch a message from our Chairman Ricky Taing with a poem reading from our PR Officer Thomas Gebbett:

DYC Returns… 2020-21 First Meeting

Dartford Youth Council held its inaugural meeting of this academic year, which welcomed fourteen new members from across the borough, presented a speech from the Member of Youth Parliament for South East Hampshire and allowed members to experience a revised Executive Committee election process as a result of the everlasting effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The meeting was opened by Vice Chair Ricky Taing where he welcomed both new and returning members, followed by an exciting icebreaker activity (through the magic of Zoom) where we had the opportunity to connect with each other and meet our guest speaker.

He then welcomed Gareth Boyes MYP from the Curriculum for Life Awards Scheme to discuss their outreach with schools – an initiative which wishes to accredit schools for their teaching of a ‘curriculum for life’ to gear students to life beyond secondary education. We discussed how we could work with the organisation, especially in promoting the scheme with the schools in our borough. To find out about the scheme and how your school can get involved, click here.

Ricky then invited Dartford Youth Councillor Sanya Sunil to raise the key points mentioned from the Dartford Young People’s Partnership Conversation meeting, which both members attended. The details of the upcoming Try Angle Awards, which Dartford Youth Council were recognised in at the county finals, were also shared with the members. The initiative works to recognise the efforts shown by young people in the county – to nominate a young person, click here.

The highlight of the meeting was the election process for the Executive Committee – due to the impacts of the pandemic, we unanimously agreed that it would be in the best interests of the serving members to offer them another year on the committee.

Whilst Events Officer Babafunto Ojo and Website Administrator Isobel Ibironke chose to continue their roles, Chairman Princess Nwafor and P.R Officer Danielle Okine retired, with Ricky Taing and Zapran Carlsson being newly elected to the roles of Chairman and Vice Chair.

We also welcomed former Vice Chair Thomas Gebbett to serve as PR Officer, with new execs Sanya Sunil as Secretary and Folabomi Ojo as Treasurer. To find out about our new execs, click here.

Reflecting on a successful meeting, newly-elected Secretary Sanya commented: “Getting elected this year was an honour. Over the past year, I have tried my best to participate in all the events DYC has to offer such as the Santa’s House event and the DYPPC meetings. Being a part of this experience has allowed me to express my opinions on certain issues but also the viewpoint of my peers. Furthermore, this opportunity will allow me to continue to play an active role in DYC.”

We must thank Princess Nwafor, Toju and Danielle Okine for serving on the Executive Committee as Chairman, Treasurer and P.R Officer respectively, and wish them the very best towards their future pursuits.

Dartford Youth Council are recruiting… join now!

Watch our video featuring Princess (Chairman), Ricky (Vice Chair), Zapran (Secretary), Danielle (P.R Officer) and Sanya (Member), where they discuss some of their highlights being on the council, and why you should join.

To join the Dartford Youth Council, complete this form and a member from the Executive Committee will shortly get in touch. For press enquiries or for other matters, please see our Contact Us page.

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

Vice Chair represents at Youth Parliament of Pakistan’s conference

Dartford Youth Council Vice Chairman Ricky Taing was privileged to have been invited to the Youth Parliament of Pakistan’s International Youth Parliamentary Conference, to discuss the current humanitarian crisis in Kashmir as well as talking about the role of young people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With over forty other guest speakers present, outspoken youth activists, politicians and media professionals gathered via Zoom to discuss the central topic of Kashmir. Our Vice Chairman reflected on the importance of technology in allowing the group’s collective aim of empowering young voices and championing youth voice.

We invite you to watch an overview of the live conference here:

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.

Try Angle Awards 2019

The Dartford Youth Council has been honoured for its benevolent work at the annual Try Angle Awards Ceremony at Princes Park, Dartford FC.

Try Angle Award
DYC Secretary and Treasurer, Ricky and Toju, joined by Chairman of Kent County Council and Dartford Youth Council Portfolio Holder, Cllr Ann Allen MBE – Credit: Dartford Youth Council

The awards were introduced in 1994 to raise the profile of young people in the community who really TRY, often with little or no recognition, to do their best.

Over the past year, Dartford Youth Councillors have given young people a voice as well as many new opportunities through their Monthly Meetings, their involvement with the Dartford Youth Advisory Group and representation at the annual Remembrance Parade and Dartford Festival.

Reflecting on an inspirational night, Toju, Dartford Youth Council’s Treasurer commented: “The awards night was wonderful; hearing the stories of all the winners and the struggles some had to overcome at such a young age shows the resilience and strength of young people nowadays. It also keeps me motivated to carry on the good work DYC does for those in the community of all ages and backgrounds.”

Joseph Try Angle Award
DYC Secretary Ricky Taing joined by Joseph Bullock, Dartford District Positive Intervention award winner – Credit: Ricky Taing, Secretary

Dartford Youth Councillor Krista added: “The Try Angle Awards was very inspirational as so many young people have done good things not only for themselves, but also for others too, and it was nice to see that they get recognition for what they have done.”

Other young people including artists, musicians, activists and other people who really TRY were recognised at the event, with winners coming from Sevenoaks, Gravesham and Dartford to celebrate at Dartford’s Princes Park.

For more details about the Try Angle Awards, click here.

Category Winner
Arts GYG Prop Committee, Gravesend
Music Matthew Wadey, Rochester
Sport or outdoor activities Chrystal Touch, Gravesend
Community action UASC Champions, Ashford
Good friends and young carers Megan Chandler, Gravesend
Personal development Horses 4 Health, Gravesend
Courage Keyleigh Nash, New Ash Green
Positive intervention Youth Naage, Gravesend
Rafal Kotowicz and Young Interpreters – Gravesend
Category Winner
Arts Oliver Winter, Hawley
Music Teddy Dann, Dartford
Sport or outdoor activities Bailey Eaton, Dartford
Community action Dartford Youth Council, Dartford
Good friends and young carers Ryan Reeves, Dartford
Personal development Elle Green, Swanscombe
Courage Annie Gale, Dartford
Positive intervention Joseph Bullock, Dartford
Category Winner
Arts Matthew Elgar, Sevenoaks
Sport or outdoor activities Zak Barton, Swanley
Community action Tia Batchelor, Four Elms
Good friends and young carers Daniel Gurney, Sevenoaks
Personal development Nizamuddin Oryakhail, West Kingsdown
Courage Jake Starr, Sevenoaks
Positive intervention Nia Brown, Edenbridge