Lewisham welcomes new 17-year-old Young Mayor

New Young Mayor Kieza De Sousa and Lewisham East MP Heidi Alexander

New Young Mayor Kieza De Sousa and Lewisham East MP Heidi Alexander. Photo: Malcolm Ball

Congratulations to Kieza Silveira Da Sousa, who was elected as the 7th Young Mayor of Lewisham after receiving 1441 votes during the election on 13th October 2010.

It was the third time the 17-year-old has run for the role of Young Mayor and this year he finally beat off 24 other candidates to become the new mayor, with the slogan “Do yourself a favour, vote for Kieza”

Kieza will be in office for one year and will have a budget of £30,000 to spend on things to improve life for young people in Lewisham.

Upon hearing that he had won, Kieza from Downham, a student at XFM Catholic sixth form college in Clapham said: “There are no words to explain how I feel right now, but I am definitely looking forward to being Young Mayor for Lewisham.” He continued  “My long-term priority is to help young people in Lewisham gain as many skills and opportunities as possible. So far in 17 years I’ve seen that there is so much to offer, everyone has potential and that’s what I really want to tap into this year, getting people to go out there and make something of themselves.”

The election, held during Local Democracy Week, saw 9363 youngsters voting, representing a turnout of 49.27% per cent.

The scheme, which invites 13-17 year old to run for the position, was launched by Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham in 2004, and the adult Mayor still supports the initiative, this year saying:  “I would like to congratulate Kieza, and I look forward to working with him… in the future.”

The Young Mayor project is also supported by Ed Milliband, leader of the Labour Party, who called the project: “A model for youth engagement across the country.”

Departing Young Mayor, Jacob Sakil, said before the winner was announced: “Running for Young Mayor of Lewisham is about doing something for yourself and helping as many young people across Lewisham as possible.”

To find out more about the Young Mayor project visit the website.

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