ACT-AS-1 Youth Leadership group, Future Light recently attended the My Ends Future Leaders event – a chance for youth leadership groups from several boroughs to reflect on the past year of the project, while demonstrating the importance of young people playing a key role in influencing and shaping the My Ends project.

Funded by the Mayor of London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) the My Ends project draws on a Collective Impact approach, bringing together the voluntary sector, statutory services, schools, local parents, young people and grassroots organisations, to build a network that has a shared understanding of, commitment to, and vision for reducing violence. 

Future Light plays an important part in representing our vibrant Borough of Newham, working with the wider ACT-AS-1 team to feed in invaluable ideas to bring the vision for safer communities to life. 

During the event, members of Future Light delivered a collaborative presentation sharing their learnings from the past year, as well as demonstrating how important it is for their voices to be recognised in guiding the project.

Future Light member, Amet reflected on why it’s key for young people to take part in initiatives that impact the lives of young people in our communities.

“I think it’s important for young people to participate in projects like My Ends because it mostly affects them, and our contributions can help change things from a negative state to a positive. We are making changes, no matter how small they are,” he explained.

As well as having a direct influence on the wider reach of the project, being a part of the youth leadership group has also opened new doors and personal development opportunities for its members.

“Along the way I’ve learned to develop quick ideas due to the brainstorming sessions that I had with my peers and looking at things in different ways by having a healthy discussion about issues regarding society and the environment,” he said.

 “I also learned how to generate ideas more efficiently, and have fun at the same time,” he continued. “For example, one of my favourite highlights is when we did a brainstorming session and we had to come up with solutions for some problems we discussed earlier. Someone will have an idea, write it down and then someone else will continue that idea.”

ACT-AS-1 Community Development Manager, Joshua Thomas echoed Amet’s reflections around personal development and the impact of the project on the wider community.

“Not only have Future Light amplified their voice to create change, they’ve built their personal development, particularly through their involvement in the Neighbourhood Wallet funding process, which has been a big part of us being able to provide support and safe spaces for young people,” he continued.

“The group were part of the panel allocating funds, with an important role in deciding who would be successful in terms of which ones they thought were best suited to the overall outcome.”

“Who better to collaborate with than the leaders of tomorrow? They’ve got their finger on the pulse and know what’s out there, including the trials and tribulations young people face. Their input is invaluable in us being able to provide what our communities need to thrive,” he concluded.

We are very proud of Future Light for their commitment to the My Ends project, and for continuing to find new and intuitive ways to support young people in being able to be a part of safer communities, all while developing skills they can take forward to continue to influence, inspire and create positive change within Newham, and beyond.

The ACT-AS-1 team is made up of a consortium of four partners: Ambition Aspire Achieve, Rights and Equalities in Newham, Exit Foundation, and Fight for Peace, the latter fulfilling a lead partner role. The hyper-local area of focus of the project is Canning Town North, Plaistow South and Custom House, all located in the Borough of Newham.

Future Light members at the My Ends Future Leaders event

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