Youths drop in to 10 Downing Street to tell Cameron about social action

UpRisers at 10 Downing Street to see PM with MPs Rushanara Ali and Richard Fuller

UpRisers at 10 Downing Street to see PM with MPs Rushanara Ali and Richard Fuller - Credit: UpRisers

Youngsters being groomed as the leaders of tomorrow dropped into 10 Downing Street to tell the Prime Minister about their social action in east London.

They are taking part in the UpRisers youth leadership programme teaching the ropes of civic society action to young people from 19 to 25.

UpRisers was set up as a project by the Young Foundation based at Bethnal Green, but has been an independent charity since April.

David Cameron is the charity’s patron. He said: “This organisation prepares the next generation of leaders to reach their potential.”

The programme takes youngsters from all backgrounds in the east London boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Newham and Barking & Dagenham who are passionate about their community and want to learn how to take on issues.

Civil Society Minister Nick Hurd, who was at the meeting at 10 Downing Street, said: “They have shown us how social action can tackle persistent local issues and how they develop leadership skills.”

The youngsters went on from Downing Street a discussion on social action staged at the Houses of Parliament.

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Two of those in the scheme, Jessica Walker and Ifraah Samatar, gave a presentation about their Inter-Voice campaign which supports youngsters acting as interpreters for family members who don’t speak English.

Ifraah said: “Running a social action campaign has made me feel responsible for my community—I’m doing my bit and not just moaning.”

The take-up of leadership roles for those taking part has increased significantly recently, the charity revealed, with seven-out-of-10 having secured a new job and half having started a social enterprise, campaign or business.

Several have secured leadership roles usually occupied by more experienced adults such as charity trustees, while many go on to become local councillors, school governors and campaigners.

The charity is backing the Campaign for Youth Social Action launched yesterday by Prince Charles to double the number of youngsters engaged in social action by 2020.