Jermain Jackman, winner of the UK Voice, has encouraged young residents to get involved in the Hackney Youth Parliament (HYP).
Jackman, 19, who was coached by singer Will.i.am on the hit BBC talent contest, was an elected member of the HYP from 2010 to 2012.
“I started my journey with the HYP in 2010,’’ he said. ‘‘If you want to change things you have to listen, you have to act, you have to take part.’’
The HYP is made up of 24 representatives aged between 11 and 19 years old, who are elected to be the voice of young people in Hackney on issues affecting them.
Jackman was involved in improving relations between the police and young people in Hackney and in the design of youth clubs during his time as a HYP representative.
Councillor Antoinette Bramble, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, was keen to emphasise that the HYP provides a genuine opportunity for real influence.
“Hackney is full of really passionate young people who want to make a difference,” she said. ‘‘This is the perfect opportunity for them to get involved in the decisions we make as a council.’’
Applications for representatives are being accepted until July 23, 2014.
Selected applicants will undergo training during the summer to prepare a manifesto, and, if elected, will attend fortnightly meetings at the Forest Road Young Hackney Centre.
Voting will take place in schools and Young Hackney Centres in October 2014.
A high turn out is expected as over 6,000 votes were cast in the last HYP election in 2012.
Further information is available from http://www.younghackney.org/about/get-heard/hackney-youth-parliament.php