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Bermondsey youths to advise on future of European Cities

Six pupils from Bermondsey's City of London Academy have been selected as UK ambassadors to help shape the future of European cities.

Junior Streetleaders from CoLA
Front row from left to right: Sam Bradley, Cllr Lisa Rajan and Aldaine Wynter. Back row: Charles Olisanekwu, Jack Cassidy and Tola Agboola

They will travel across Europe as pioneers of Capacity Global's Just Cities project that gives them the chance to share their ideas on creating better cities with other young people, politicians and policy makers.

Their first stop will be Brussels in August where they will meet members of the European Parliament to discuss the issues that concern them most about the environment and human rights.

"I am really proud to have been chosen to represent the UK and Southwark," says Jack Cassidy, one of the young people involved.

"The most exciting part of the project is that we will be travelling to Brussels to meet up with the other groups of teenagers from Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam. We will be able to share our ideas and findings and will be able to speak to the policy makers; making sure teenagers' voices are heard."

The 15-year-olds, who are from the City of London Academy and part of Southwark Council's junior streetleader scheme, will act as ambassadors until November when the scheme is opened up to applicants from across the UK.

"It is an amazing achievement that they have been chosen to pilot this project and I have no doubt they'll be great ambassadors for not only Southwark but also the UK," adds Cllr Lisa Rajan, executive member for environment and transport.

Using diaries, blogs, photos and films the young people will document their environment and discuss options for its improvement, opening a European urban regeneration dialogue between youth groups and decision makers.

The Just Cities project is funded by Jean Lambert MEP and the European Parliamentary Greens. Jean Lambert's London office is in Southwark Street.

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