Meet the Youth Councillors – Marouf Ahmed

My name is Marouf Ahmed. I am currently the Youth Mayor of Oldham and I am honoured to be the first Bangladeshi Youth Mayor for Oldham. I have been on the Youth Council for about 6 years now and I can honestly say it has changed my life it has been one of the most amazing journeys I could have ever taken upon. I first joined after being referred to Youth Council whilst being on my school Council by one of my secondary school teachers Mr Raz and a Youth worker, Areeta. I didn’t know what to expect from the first meeting that I attended it was completely different to the way our meetings are set out now. The first meeting I went to was at our first building in Union Street it was very informal but everyone was really friendly and I enjoyed spending my time there getting to know people and getting know what the Youth Council was about. At first it was also a chance to add on hours to my Children’s University passport. However, after spending a couple of months on Youth Council I wanted to do something bigger, I wanted to get more involved. So when Youth Council then moved to Rock Street I dedcided it was time for me to get more involved. As a result I worked on the motion for the votes at 16 campaign and delivered it alongside Mariam and Daisy (who was chairThe Youth Councillor who runs the meeting, heads up the organisation and has the casting vote. Or something to sit on but probably the first one on our site :-)... More at the time). Mariam was like a big sister to me in Youth Council and still is, she pushed me to do better and achieve more and as a result I ran for DMYPDeputy Member of Youth Parliament – The Deputy Member of Youth Parliament is the first year of a two year role, which allows the elected members to learn about the role and step in for the MYP when needed. To be elected as DMYP, you have to be within the age bracket of 11-18, due to this role linking in with the BYC.... More elections at Rock street and was successful in getting the role. I also ran for vice chairThe Youth Councillor who runs the meeting, heads up the organisation and has the casting vote. Or something to sit on but probably the first one on our site :-)... More that year aswell but unfortunately did not make it. However, I carried on and was greatful for being able to hold the DMYPDeputy Member of Youth Parliament – The Deputy Member of Youth Parliament is the first year of a two year role, which allows the elected members to learn about the role and step in for the MYP when needed. To be elected as DMYP, you have to be within the age bracket of 11-18, due to this role linking in with the BYC.... More role. My year as MYPMember of Youth Parliament – The Member of the Youth Parliament is elected to represent the LA on a national level. I consider to be one of my favourite years, I believe it’s the year where I matured the most, I learnt the most, I felt more confident in myself. I met so many new people and made so many friends for life whom I still talk to, to this day. I was also lucky enough to have T Jay as my fellow MYPMember of Youth Parliament – The Member of the Youth Parliament is elected to represent the LA on a national level. who became one of my closest friends during that time, we spent so much time together and had so many memories many of which we still laugh over today. It was also the year my school friend Nazmul joined and Branden who I consider them both to be my friends for life. Again on that year I ran for vice chairThe Youth Councillor who runs the meeting, heads up the organisation and has the casting vote. Or something to sit on but probably the first one on our site :-)... More elections but again did not manage to get the role. At this point I honestly thought this was it because I felt like I’d be unable to run for Vice ChairThe Youth Councillor who runs the meeting, heads up the organisation and has the casting vote. Or something to sit on but probably the first one on our site :-)... More again as my term of office would mean that my year as Youth mayor I’d be just over age. It was always a dream of Mr Raz’s to see me become Youth mayor he said he saw something in me like he did with the Youth Councils first Youth Mayor, Eddy. However, in T Jays year as Vice ChairThe Youth Councillor who runs the meeting, heads up the organisation and has the casting vote. Or something to sit on but probably the first one on our site :-)... More, the current ChairThe Youth Councillor who runs the meeting, heads up the organisation and has the casting vote. Or something to sit on but probably the first one on our site :-)... More had stepped down and so T Jay official became the ChairThe Youth Councillor who runs the meeting, heads up the organisation and has the casting vote. Or something to sit on but probably the first one on our site :-)... More and so another election was called. This was my last and final chance to become Vice ChairThe Youth Councillor who runs the meeting, heads up the organisation and has the casting vote. Or something to sit on but probably the first one on our site :-)... More and I succeeded, I also have to mention that every year that I ran, I was up against a lot of good candidates who are still here today. I was overwhelmed that day, something that I’ve wanted for years I’d finally got and it was because I never gave up I always had someone to believe in me. Then in that year T Jay and I who were both MYPs still went to the HoC debateA debate is when two parties discuss a statement, with one side for the statement given, and one against. Each party gives points on why they stand where they do on the statement, trying to create a convincing argument to win the debate.... More. It was a once in a lifetime experience truly and I was so so lucky to be picked to speak by the speaker and was able to get my voice and the voice of Oldham heard. It was definitely a week to remember. My year as ChairThe Youth Councillor who runs the meeting, heads up the organisation and has the casting vote. Or something to sit on but probably the first one on our site :-)... More was a very busy one, I didn’t realise how busy the role of chairThe Youth Councillor who runs the meeting, heads up the organisation and has the casting vote. Or something to sit on but probably the first one on our site :-)... More is, I was practically in the office every single day not because I was forced to but because I wanted to. I wanted to do as much as possible in my role, I wanted to be a role model for the other Youth councillors. It was also the year I did a lot of work for many other organisations, I did some work for CAHMs which has now changed its name to Healthy Young Minds I was a representative for TellMAMA and I am a football coach for my local football club Coppice Rangers and so I really had a busy busy schedule but I loved it, I loved being able to do something everyday and be productive. I was also lucky enough to have such great, dedicated, hard working youth councillors and Youth Council champions (the largest group of champions I have ever seen since starting Youth Council) to help make and deliver the Youth Council campaigns. It ceases to amaze me how far we’ve grown as a Youth Council and seeing all of us grow together. Becoming Youth Mayor has been one of my biggest achievements and I will always regard it as so, it is an amazing feeling that you’ve been chosen to be a representative of the young people of Oldham. It is truly an honour and I always have such a proud feeling. However, I was also a bit disappointed that I was no longer chairThe Youth Councillor who runs the meeting, heads up the organisation and has the casting vote. Or something to sit on but probably the first one on our site :-)... More and it’s safe to say that every chairThe Youth Councillor who runs the meeting, heads up the organisation and has the casting vote. Or something to sit on but probably the first one on our site :-)... More feels like that at first, you realise that although Youth Mayor was created by the Youth Council it is actually a civic role and you attend more events than you can attend Youth Council meetings. But my time as Youth Mayor so far has been an amazing one I’ve done and seen some amazing things in and around Oldham and I’ve met some amazing people along the way although I am at University I am a still trying to attend as many events as I can because some of them are just too good to be missed! So that’s my journey so far and I’m still curious as to where it will finally lead me but I am hopefull that the exeperineces I’ve gained and the knowledge I’ve attained (that rhymed) will definitely lead me to many great things and I hope that you can see from the post many things in which will inspire you to go and do great things too!

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