Youth councillors call on peers to stand for election

Youth councillors called on their peers to stand for election at Crawley Young Persons Council.

The teen volunteers strongly recommended membership of the group for 11 to 25-year-olds who want to tackle youth issues.

The Youth Mayor of Crawley,Tumsil Abbas, 18, of Langley Green, said before a meeting on Thursday (January 23): “If you want to be a voice of those young people in Crawley who don’t have a voice, this is the right place for you to be.

“I never expected to meet all the people and groups I have in my role as youth mayor.

“It makes me feel happy that I live in Crawley with such wonderful people.”

Tumsil attends ceremonial events and represents young people across town.

He visited a German youth council on a borough council visit to Crawley’s twin town, Dorsten, last October.

Crawley’s youth councillors is putting together a programme for its counterpart’s return visit this year.

Representatives from Sussex Police and Crawley Borough Council attend the monthly meetings.

Vikki Fold, 31, community development officer for Crawley Borough Council, has attended for four years.

She said: “It’s fantastic, it’s my favourite part of the job.

“When the youth council are first elected you have young people who are really shy and as it goes on you see them develop into strong characters and become more confident.

She added: “They feel passionate about the issues that are affecting young people and they get the opportunity to volunteer for different projects.”

Tony Cook, a prevent engagement officer, has been working with teens on a counter-terrorism project.

The group will work in partnership with the police to engage young people at risk of getting involved in terrorism.

Mr Cook said: “A high percentage of that engagement is with young and vulnerable people.

“It’s better for the message to come from young people.”

The youth councillors are putting together a DVD promoting the commonality between faiths for schools to use - one of a number of their ongoing projects.

The council liaises with Vision in Youth Collective and other youth groups in the area.

It helps with Crawley’s Got Talent and the Crawley Youth Awards. The elections will be held across the town’s schools and youth groups from February 2 to 14. To stand for election, email