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Camden Council’s takeover challenge sees students getting tough on youth issues

PUBLISHED: 13:26 05 December 2018

Argyle Primary School pupils ride the smoothie-making bikes during Camden Council's takeover challenge. Photo by Camden Council

Argyle Primary School pupils ride the smoothie-making bikes during Camden Council's takeover challenge. Photo by Camden Council

Archant

The Crowndale Centre was boosted by an army of young recruits on Friday as enthusiastic students took part in a takeover challenge.

Camden students presenting their stories from the newsroom workshop with the Ham&High. Photo by Camden CouncilCamden students presenting their stories from the newsroom workshop with the Ham&High. Photo by Camden Council

Camden Council’s project saw more than 60 students – aged between 10 and 14 – taking part in a variety of workshops to discuss issues such as mental health, youth crime and businesses in the borough.

One such workshop saw students enter a newsroom co-ordinated by the Ham&High, in which the team learnt about finding stories in Camden, before having a go at penning articles themselves.

A team from Camden School for Girls and Acland Burghley School interviewed Camden Youth Council member Anes Bouzouina on issues such as knife crime, and the effect it has on teenagers and families in the borough. Anes, who helped to run the takeover day, told the students about how the youth council had confidence and public speaking skills.

Another interview carried out by Beckford Primary School and Argyle Primary School students with Camden youth worker Majid Abdul on his 18 years as a youth worker in Camden – touching on subjects including supporting young people with mental health issues.

Another impressive group effort saw Torriano Primary School and New End Primary School students working on a story – complete with posters – on the problems of air pollution in Camden.

The youngsters hope their story, which encourages people to car share and cycle to school and work, will inspire councillors to “act on air pollution”.

In the afternoon students from all the groups made their presentations in the council chamber, before grilling leader of the council Cllr Georgia Gould and Cllr Abdul Hai on youth issues in the borough.

The councillors fielded questions on the growing number of homeless people in the borough, the need for an app connecting the council to young people, and foodbanks.

Organiser Elzbieta Chandrasena said: “It was a very successful and inspiring event enjoyed by all. The presentations by the young people in the afternoon session were excellent and managed to engage the audience of more than 60 students.”

Students were also praised on the day by mayor of Camden Cllr Jenny Headlam-Wells.

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