Naomi Future Changers Trainee

Naomi Hunter-Chedick

Living Streets recently welcomed two young campaigners, Naomi and Lubna, to our offices as part of the new Future Changers work training programme. 

Lubna Future Changers Trainee

Lubna Khan

Here Lubna tells us how she believes we can centre young people’s voices in our campaigning work.

In society, I want young people to be given many opportunities to learn about campaigning and be able to create our own campaigns on what we are passionate about or what changes need to be made in our community.

I was given the opportunity to join Living Streets as a paid placement from a programme called Urban Scholars aiming to get an insight into how the charity campaigns for future changes and got the chance to learn about the journey of the charity from A to B.

Pavement blocked by rubbish

In society, I want young people to be given many opportunities to learn about campaigning and be able to create our own campaigns on what we are passionate about or what changes need to be made in our community.

A pathway lined with trees

Naomi

Here is a story from Naomi, another Living Streets Young Scholar, about her experience of her local streets and what change she wants to see.

"For an extended period, I have witnessed the condition of neighbouring streets in my area slowly disintegrate from reasonable walking routes to uneven, pothole infested pathways leaving my feet sore and uncomfortable from the impact. Littered with plastic wrappers, fast food packaging and drink bottles, there has never been a day in my life where I would not come across a new small pile of rubbish tucked in the side of the pavement or even worse a few steps away from an empty bin. The place where rubbish belongs.

Due to this I found myself staying indoors more often, turning down weekly family walks, travelling to nearby places using car or waiting on buses in the same amount of time it would take me to get to my destination. In turn reducing the amount of exercise I would normally receive daily, reflecting on my grades at school. In the present, I would like my community to contribute to a cleaning mission where everyone will task themselves with the responsibility to keep our streets clean with help from the council, alongside this effort there should be funding for the refurbishing and maintenance of our pathways.’’

 

Lubna

During my time at Living Streets, I have learnt many things about Living Streets such as how they campaign for change and make more people walk instead of taking the car by focusing on many of the same issues Naomi highlighted.

We were also given the opportunity to tell the Living Streets team what could be improved within the charity to inspire young people like me to promote change.

We produced the idea of a wellbeing week aimed at secondary schools from year 7 to 13 with a programme built around physical and mental health.  We produced the wellbeing week as we thought that there should be a walk to school week that would be appropriate for secondary school students as there are less opportunities for young people to learn about different problems in our society and how we can campaign for change.

I also believe social media is a fantastic way to get our messages across, as young people are the voices of social media. We need to keep inviting youth influencers and campaigners onto our platforms and social media so we can create projects and campaigns centred around our ideas.

We as young people deserve our voices to be heard as most young people are not able to vote, which means campaigning is the most important thing to us to make change happen.

A road and pavement lined with a railing
Shadows of people on a pavement