Back with a Bang!
March 8th begins our transition back into a functioning society: schools will be opening, and soon children will populate the desolate halls for the first time this new year. This is a time where we will finally get to see friends, and share stories on how our teacher’s cameras glitched out on Google Meets, leaving them pasted to a background of stampeding horses. This lockdown has felt different, and everyone can feel the burnout creeping in. But of course, there are some moments of relief, where a break in work allows us to step outside and take a breath of air- air that’s less polluted because of the decrease in congestion. It’s also a time where we, as a team, have to knuckle down and work hard to make changes in Lambeth.
The writers of this first blog of the year are us, Serena Cobbinah and Tahira Martello. We are two new LYC councillors who joined towards the end of 2020. We are both passionate about raising awareness on important issues such as the Black Lives Matter movement and, overall, the need for everyone to have a place in society where they feel included and equal! Lockdown has given us so much time to think about our position in society as young people, the impact we will have and the changes we can make.
So, what exactly have we been doing to make these changes?
Over the course of the past few months we dived headfirst into new, invigorating projects designed to foster inclusivity and awareness around topical issues relevant in Lambeth using online conferencing. In January a select few attended a Full Council Meeting where Lambeth officers, councillors and people from the community discussed Youth & Play Services, Housing, as well as road safety issues in the area. The meeting not only gave us insight into the inner workings of Lambeth, but it also showed us how much more young people should listened to. We came up with a multitude of issues we wanted to discuss but getting a word in was like trying to gain everyone’s attention during a mass protest: very difficult, unless you ran across the road with a giant banner proclaiming “CAN I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION, PLEASE!?”.
All jokes aside, it is important that the people in higher positions understand our thoughts and concerns, and not use our presence- whether it be as representatives of communities, or as youth councillors- as a form of tokenistic activism.
On a positive note, we have been heard in many other instances, be it during talks on climate change when venting about how the lockdown has left us feeling miserable, sad, and detached from what we are used to. And then there’s this- the first blog of 2021.
We hope to involve you in our journey from here on out, working in unison to provide you with accurate, engaging and inspiring content. The point of these blogs is to show you what goes on behind the scenes and the hard work that we put in to make Lambeth a better borough to live in.
Thank you so much for reading! Please comment where appropriate with any thoughts you have whether it be on the lockdown, what campaigns you would like to see, current political topics or upcoming events that matter to you.
Have a lovely day, work hard and keep an eye on this space for the next blog!
Youth Councillors Tahira and Serena