The new Lord Mayor of London, Charles Bowman was so impressed with UK Youth Voice after our live social media consultation with him at the last Voice meeting in Birmingham, that he invited 15 of us for dinner in Mansion House.
Last Friday (15th December), I missed my last lecture of the term, so I could attend the dinner with the Lord Mayor of London, alongside other UK Youth Voice members.
The day started off by walking to train station (I always seem to be in a rush, but somehow still have time to spare). I grabbed a billionaires hot chocolate from the Costa popup on the platform. Obviously, this is a speciality festive drink, but I was saddened to find they had given me an ordinary takeaway cup.
Anyway, I caught the train at 9:53 ( well, that’s when it was supposed to arrive, instead at 10:03) to London St Pancras, where I left to catch a tube on the Northern Line towards Mansion House, to meet the rest of the UK Youth Voice Board.
At 12:30, we went into Mansion House, amazed at how grand it was, and we waited downstairs until we were called upstairs by the Lord Mayor, and his wife.
We talked to the Lord Mayor himself and I talked to him about Norwich (and Norfolk) and how youth services in the county are restricted and limited due to the cuts which have taken place in the last decade. Suhaib mentioned how this needed to be improved for future generations. We also spoke about young people and social mobility.
Shortly after this, we made our way into the Private Dining Room to have lunch.
During this luncheon, we talked about our work as UK Youth Voice representatives and how we aim to influence our communities. We all have different ways we plan to do this and the two main campaigns we are focusing on as a collective are the environment and youth engagement. We hope to work with the UK Youth member organisations in our region to do this.
We had fish and chips for the main course:
After this, we talked about the Lord Mayor’s initiative called the Business of Trust, which looks at improving the trustworthiness of businesses in the financial and professional sector, making society more confident about how these run.
You can contact the Lord Mayor about this @citylordmayor or #businessoftrust on Twitter or by email: email@example.com
He would love to hear the thoughts of people across the country and will be visiting places starting from January next year.
We, then, had sticky toffee pudding with a light custard and vanilla ice cream. What we talked about will be expressed when he meets with prominent figures next year. This is really important as young people are the future and are the generation who live with the result, and the consequences of these decisions. So, it is absolutely vital that they are included in consultations around a range of issues on topics affecting various parts of the UK.
Following this, we had tea and coffee with petit fours. After this, we had a tour of Mansion House itself, but unfortunately due to trains, I had to dash off halfway through this. But I still managed to get a quick picture with the Lord Mayor and Wales rep, Kate.
As a result of this, we hope we can help the Lord Mayor more with his social media strategy, prior to our consultation and support the work PwC are doing for UK Youth in the next year.
It was a fantastic occasion in a beautiful venue, one that we will all remember for years to come and an absolute honour to be invited and I’m excited to see what 2018 has in store for UK Youth Voice!