The Young Futures Commission helped amplify the voice of young people in the decisions that shape their lives, and make sure they can shape the opportunities that are available to them.
Starting in 2018 and over two years, the Commission looked into:
- young people’s experiences in Hackney
- how they viewed the borough and responded to its challenges
- how they felt about council services
Young Futures operated independently but received our funding and was accountable to us. It included young people chaired by Jermain Jackman and Shekeila Scarlett, with vice-chairs Georgina Appeagyei and Mishaque Jarrett. There was also a reference group that met every quarter. The group included people who represented the community, academic partners, experts and councillors.
The commission listened to, and learnt from, young people’s experiences of growing up in Hackney. It made recommendations to us and other organisations to improve the lives and opportunities of young people in Hackney. We adopted these recommendations when designing or buying in services we provide through Young Hackney and more generally for children and young people.
The Commission began by gathering facts and engaging with the community. They then turned these insights into a report.
The engagement looked at the experiences of three distinct age groups:
- older children (ages 10 to 12)
- teenagers (ages 13 to 18)
- young adults (ages 19 to 25)
In 2019, the Hackney Young Futures Commission undertook the largest ever consultation with young people in Hackney aged between 10 and 25.
Its main goal was to link children and young people, Councillors, service leaders, and partners to involve young people in decisions that affect them and contribute to improving Hackney as a place to live.
Funded by us, the Commission spoke to over 2,400 young people from a range of backgrounds, to learn and understand how they view Hackney as a place to live and the changes they would like to see.
The Commission asked young people the following four key questions, which were also created by young people:
- what is your favourite thing or place in Hackney and why?
- what is the main issue affecting your life in Hackney today and how does this issue affect you?
- if you were the Mayor, what would be the main thing you would change for young people in Hackney? What would you do and how would you change it?
- any other comments?
The report Valuing the Future through Young Voices (PDF 3mb), containing findings from the consultation, was presented to cabinet in July 2020, adopted in January 2023, and publicly published on Saturday, November 14, 2020. It included insights and direct quotations from young people sharing their experiences of living, working, and studying in the borough.
Key insights from the report included:
- building a secure future, including reducing homelessness and improving the quality of housing for young people
- a review of young people’s mental health services
- an inclusive future, whereby young people are involved in the regeneration of the borough
- reducing the impact of the fear of crime on young people
The Commission has asked us and our partners to consider 19 Asks for change and 73 Hows to put in place solutions, which have been co-produced with young people and adults.
The next phase focuses on the implementation and delivery of the Asks. If you would like to get involved in the future phases of the Hackney Young Futures work contact: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.