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Oasis Academy Hadley students are selected to be a part of the Mayor of London’s Violence Reduction Unit

Oasis Academy Hadley students are selected to be a part of the Mayor of London’s Violence Reduction Unit

Three students from Oasis Academy Hadley have been chosen to be members of this year’s Mayor of London violence Reduction Unit (VRU). The students will join the VRU’s Young People Action Group; working to reduce and stabilise violence across London, increase feelings of safety, promote opportunities for young Londoners and put young people at the heart of the work being done across the capital.

Darwin Bernardo, Community Engagement Officer at the Mayor's Office, spoke about the impact of young people’s ideas on decision making in London saying; "Listening and promoting the voices of young people is one of our core aims, we want to ensure that young people have a stake in shaping their own futures.”

The year 11 students from Oasis Academy Hadley will be involved in a number of activities and projects. These mainly include:

  • Sharing your views and experiences with VRU senior managers and external partners to help shape how we fund programmes, manage campaigns and influence policies
  • Attending the Young People's Action Group meetings and participating in training
  • Being an ambassador of hope, advocating for real opportunities for young people whilst informing your peers and other young people about our projects and opportunities
  • Leading on projects that matter most to you, for a minimum of 12 months.

As a part of the VRU’s Young People Action Group the students were asked to organise a networking event where they invited 250 Young Londoners to City Hall and engaged with businesses from numerous sectors across London. The action group brought together organisations such as Microsoft, Facebook, SKY, LinkedIn, Catch 22, The Princes Trust, DWP and others to promote live opportunities that young people could sign up to.

The students involved said:

Sultan "This event and being part of this project further sparked my interest in Politics and importance of young voices in London to raise awareness of current issues that young people face. It is important that we take interest in matters that will affect us later on in life. This has confirmed my decision to take on A level Politics and explore further ways I can take part in groups and activities to make a difference on a wider level.”

Tianna "Taking part behind the scenes of the whole event was exceptionally rewarding. Being part of the Violence Reduction Unit is a great opportunity to voice my opinions on how to make London a safer environment for young people like us. It made me feel like I was truly making a difference through my active contribution, and I look forward to upcoming events we will be taking part in.”

Natalie "Being part of the VRU and attending this event gave me a preview of the working world. Such opportunities allow us to build a bridge from school life to professional settings. Being part of the VRU allows me work on an area I am passionate about. It makes me feel that what I do and say as a 14-year-old actually matters and can make a change. I am really proud.”

Zoe Thompson, Principal at Oasis Academy Hadley commented saying; "We are truly proud of the work and energy Tianna, Sultan and Natalie have put into this event and their involvement in the action group as a whole. They are all leaders of our Academy and have now transferred that leadership onto a wider scale by contributing to matters impacting young Londoners. We know that they will continue to engage in such opportunities and use their voice to make a positive contribution”

Next month the VRU’s Young People Action Group will be organising charity events including visiting homeless shelters and food banks contributions. Students will also be able to network and get guidance from professionals from fields of their interest.

Daniel Marsh