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Ladajah Wilson recently joined us as one of our new Youth Campaigns Officers (Hanton Fellowship). In this blog, she discusses her own journey of exploring nature and the importance of getting young people involved with Living Streets.

During lockdown, I fell in love with walking. 

Walking gave me time to reflect and form a deeper connection with nature, and generally become more at peace with the world. However, whilst walking, I quickly noticed problems with our streets.

rubbish blocking pavement

"I’m excited to bring the perspective of young people to Living Streets. Building a strong relationship with walking at a young age is key." - Ladajah

I lived in central Birmingham and saw the dominance of cars around me. From cars parked on the pavement, to vehicles speeding around corners making crossing roads dangerous. I also discovered that the quality of the streets was unacceptable, with uneven and cluttered footways.

Everyone is entitled to feel safe on our streets and have their needs accommodated. That's why I’m so passionate about the work Living Streets does to improve our streets and am excited to get started.  

Involving young people in the improvement of streets is so important. We want young people to have a say in what their streets should look like now, and for years to come. I’m excited to bring the perspective of young people to Living Streets. Building a strong relationship with walking at a young age is key. Making walking a lifelong habit can bring endless benefits, not only to the individual, but to our wider society and the environment.

As a member of Groundwork's Youth Advisory Board, I saw how impactful young people can be when our opinions are taken seriously – it can be revolutionary.

We have seen this in the work the Youth Advisory Board has done on their Kickstart programme – a governmental scheme to help young unemployed people get into work by creating six-month placements.

Another area I am passionate about is advocating for young people from ethnic minority backgrounds and speaking about their experience of ethnic disparities in youth unemployment. Being a part of the Future Voices Group for Youth Future Foundation allows me to help those whose voices may be overlooked to be heard.

I'm excited to start my new role of Youth Campaign Officer and grateful for the opportunity to create meaningful change. I look forward to using my voice to represent young people which, will help to shape the future of Living Streets. This is important as no work is complete without young people as we are the future. Living Streets has achieved amazing things and I look forward to being a part of the charity’s future.

Alistair Hanton

The Youth Campaign Officer opportunities have been funded by the Hanton Fellowship, set up by the family of our former Chair and lifelong campaigner, Alastair Hanton. 

About the author

Ladajah Wilson

Youth Campaigns Officer (Hanton Fellowship), Living Streets