Young people in Lewisham have launched a youth council to influence decisions that impact them and the community.
The council was formed after the Phoenix youth group #BEin presented to Phoenix’s Board for younger residents to have a direct say on the decisions made by their landlord.
Phoenix is a resident-led housing association whose model empowers residents to play a central role in decision making.
The Youth Council held their inaugural meeting on Wednesday, November 17.
Zhane Lunan, member of the Phoenix Youth Council and the youth group #BEin, said: “This is an exciting time as it’s the first occasion where young people are represented at governance level.
“We live in the community and should have a say on the decisions made at Phoenix.
“We now have the opportunity to make a real difference for future generations.”
At the first session, members received training in meeting preparation, chairing and governance to help them prepare for their new role at Phoenix.
The Youth Council will see members discussing issues including safer communities, cleaner air and more opportunities for the younger generation in the area.
Jim Ripley, Chief Executive of Phoenix Community Housing said: “As a resident-led organisation it’s important that we listen to the views of everyone.
“The Youth Council will challenge us to think differently and bring a perspective to the Board which is often missing in our sector.
“We believe in the young people of Lewisham, they are the future.”
Phoenix was set up in 2007 as the first resident-led housing association in London and has always recognised that young people were underrepresented in their governance structure.
The youth group #BEin was set up in 2018 to involve younger residents in the community and the Youth Council is the next step for young people who want to have a more formal impact at Phoenix.
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