A thirteen-year-old student was announced as Lewisham’s next Young Mayor on Thursday, February 8 in a competition that involved 36 other candidates.
Bilvilyn Asamoah at Addey and Stanhope School secured 1,824 votes in the borough-wide election which took place in schools and colleges on February 7.
Over 9000 people between the ages of thirteen and seventeen voted for the 37 candidates; this equals a turnout of 57.46 per cent of Lewisham’s young people.
A £25,000 budget
The young mayor serves a one-year term and is chosen as a spokesperson for the borough’s young people, representing their perspectives and ensuring their voices are heard by decision-makers.
Working and getting support from young advisers and the young citizens’ panel, the young mayor oversees a budget of at least £25,000.
Paul Frimpong, a fourteen-year-old student from Forest Hill School, was elected as Deputy Young Mayor after securing 1,356 votes.
Bilvilyn Asamoah, the newly elected Young Mayor, said: “I want to say thank you to everyone who supported me, I really appreciate it and I’m going to do good things.
I hope to achieve a better space for young people in Lewisham and increase opportunities so we can all achieve what we want to achieve.”
Longest young mayor programme
In her manifesto, she referred to career provisions at her school that she helped introduce to Lewisham. She then promises to investigate routes to create pathways of employment for young people, if she is elected.
She said: “I promise to actively involve young people in decision-making processes. I hope to do this by potentially visiting schools and youth clubs in order for young people to voice their opinions. I believe that this is important because young people should have a say in matters that affect them.
Finally, I promise to advocate for better facilities, resources and opportunities, this is as I believe students should feel happy in schools. Aside from this, students should view school to enhance their knowledge and push them to be the best version of themselves.”
Lewisham has the longest established young mayor programme in the country, started by former Mayor of Lewisham, Steve Bullock in 2004.
Bilvilyn Asamoah’s video manifesto.