The new academic year is a time for us to celebrate our past achievements, as well as making new prospective aims for the wider borough of Dartford.
Dartford Youth Council welcomed some new members from Dartford Grammar School and Dartford Grammar School for Girls. Dartford Youth Council Executive Team candidates each said their speech, and all DYC members had the opportunity to vote for their desired candidate.
We welcomed James Rolls, Thomas Gebbett and Tse Uweja into the Executive Committee for the first time, as well as some members who were re-elected including Matthew D’Costa, Joshua Grills, Ricky Taing, Omolayo Oluwadare.
Shortly after the elections, members of DYC enjoyed the Dartford Youth Council Prize-Giving Ceremony with awards and certificates presented by Councillor Ann Allen.
Five Dartford Youth Council members visited a care home in Wilmington to talk to elderly members of the community and participate in various activities.
We talked about their past and they shared their life experiences with us. It was really interesting to find out how technology has really revolutionised life! We spoke to a 95-year-old lady who enjoyed watching the television quiz shows The Chase and Eggheads and it was interesting to see how many of us had similar interests.
We also sang some traditional music (we joined in where we could!) and we also joined the beat on percussion instruments. Overall, we really enjoyed the experience and would like to visit them again sometime soon.
Members of DYC volunteered at the Dartford Festival 2017, preparing and serving fresh and healthy smoothies. We had a smoothie bike which you would pedal to blend the smoothie as part of our Healthy Living outreach. A massive thank you to everyone who helped out at the Dartford Festival!
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)
After our visit to Salvation Army, we had lunch and then went to Gardenia House, a residential home for elderly people. We performed a range of Christmas carols and some modern Christmas song arrangements. We must thank Ricky for conducting, playing the flute and ukulele for the event as well as Babafunto for his excellent guitar playing in Silent Night. Many thanks must also go to the percussionists, which gave the singers a beat and gave a wider range of timbres that made the singing exciting. Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed singing at Gardenia House, and it was an inspirational experience!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On Monday, we went to the Salvation Army in Dartford and helped sort toys for different charities. We all thoroughly enjoyed helping the Salvation Army, and knowing that the toys that we sort will go to charities that benefitted from our help.
On the 3rd August we embarked on a trip to the Houses of Parliament. We possessed a tourist like image; a big, over-excited group all wearing our DYC t-shirts ready to learn about one of the most important historical landmarks in England. Entering the building you could only but be captivated by the amazing interior, with the vast space and beautiful stained glass windows.
Our tour guide took her time to carefully explain the many elements of the building. From how the tiles were made, to details on the various paintings, it was astonishing to discover how much time and effort was taken into making the Houses of Parliament look so grand.
As we hovered over the comfy looking red and green chairs in The House of Lords and Commons, we were informed of the differences between them and taught how decisions that impact the country are made.
An amazing fact shared was that behind The Speaker’s Chair in the House of Commons, there is a sack which contains all of the petitions brought to the attention of the House and out of the many petitions, one in ten gets passed.
Amongst the numerous paintings a really interesting one was Daniel Maclise’s Waterloo. Maclise’s painting of The Battle of Waterloo is a great depiction of the gore and victory of one of the most famous battles in history. The tour guide explained how Maclise tended not to autograph his work instead he added little things in his paintings to indicate that they were created by him. In the painting Waterloo, Maclise paints two subjects holding glasses of water, which would have been very odd on a battleground but an amazing way to tag his work.
When the tour was over we were given the opportunity to look around some of the building once more and take in the beautiful surroundings.
After leaving the Houses of Parliament with new knowledge on British history and politics we had a relaxing lunch together in an open space near the London Eye.
All in all, our trip to The Houses of Parliament was fun and informative and I look forward to what the next Dartford Youth Council trip has in store.