Mini Mayor targets a cohesive city
Leeds’ latest little leader has high hopes for her city this year, with the self-confessed ‘Yorkshire lass’ looking to unite young people from all faiths and backgrounds.
Ten-year-old Hannah Begum, who attends Hunslet Moor Primary School, was welcomed into her new position as the Leeds Children’s Mayor in November 2015.
With her manifesto in hand, she outlined plans for what she wanted to achieve during her year reign, addressing city councillors at Leeds Town Hall.
Under the banner of the ‘Global Families of Leeds Project’ Hannah says her aim is to create more opportunities for children to interact with each other through ‘existing youth and community groups, after school clubs and faith groups’.
“I used to attend a youth group to meet loads of new people and visit Cadbury World and even the set of Coronation Street,” she said.
“My group had to shut down due to lack of funding so I feel really passionate about setting up these groups again.”
Looking to setup a city-wide database of groups to join in the project, opportunities will be presented to each group to visit each other’s premises, learning new skills and developing relationships in a ‘more cohesive city’.
“My community is very transient with many new families coming from all over the world,” Hannah added.
“Sometimes there are stereotypes of where you live so my project would give the perfect platform for children and young people to feel safe, ask questions, and learn about respecting other cultures, religions and beliefs in a safe environment.”
The Leeds Children’s Mayor concept was introduced in Leeds over ten years ago with the young leaders selected via a voting process from children and young people across the city.
Each mayor has different aims and Hannah believes hers is not only beneficial to the local area, but also incorporates wider government targets, including the promotion of British values.
She said: “I feel the opportunities and interactions we have as a child determine the adults we are in the future.
“I love Leeds and feel proud to be a ‘Yorkshire lass’, it is a fantastic city and my project would make it even better for children and young people.”