Barnet’s Youth Parliamentarians announce plans to “promote good student mental health in schools”


Youth Parliamentarians, Isaac Reuben and Elysse Adil

Youth Parliamentarians, Isaac Reuben and Elysse Adil

Members of the Youth Parliament and Barnet’s Youth Ambassadors unveiled plans to promote good mental health and equality as one of a number of initiatives presented to Barnet Council’s Children Education & Safeguarding Committee yesterday (17 November).

The Youth Parliamentarians and Ambassadors set out their vision for their term following consultation with Barnet’s young people.

The four elected Members and their campaigns are:

  • Isaac Reuben, age 16 - Welcoming LGBTQ+ students in schools: Ways students can feel safe to be their true selves, access to gender neutral toilets and pronoun use, discussions with students and Senior Leadership Teams.
  • Elysse Adil, age 11 – Preventing Knife Crime: Concern about the number of incidents involving knives and young people, need for education in schools for all age groups, promoting resources for schools that will help prevent knife crime.
  • Deetya Pardasani, age 13 - Drug Awareness and Prevention: Youth led schools and community-based initiatives to break the cycle of peer pressure, drug use and crime. Reporting mechanisms for young people to raise concerns so support can be targeted where needed.
  • Ania Shah, age 14– Promoting Good Mental Health: Making sure the rewards system in schools is not biased against those with additional needs, ensuring fair access to school trips and enrichment activities. Developing a greater range of school trips and learning experiences that support career options and healthy lifestyles.

Cllr Pauline Coakley Webb, chair of Barnet Council’s Children, Education & Safeguarding committee, said:

“I’m very proud and impressed to have seen how these young people have worked with their peers to inform their campaigns.

“They understand keenly how important it is that we take action to challenge important issues and how that helps how we care for each other and the places we live. We will offer support to them to enable them to deliver their manifesto commitments”.

“As a council we’re committed to ensuring everyone in the borough is supported to share their voice and we’ll continue to support and learn from them throughout these campaigns.”

In June Barnet launched its child participation and family involvement strategy, including ‘My Say Matters’ a project to ensure young people’s voices are heard.