I am a member of the Redbridge Council Fairness Commission which has been set up to investigate poverty and inequality in the Borough and what the Council and its partners can do about it.
The conference had around 100 pupils aged 14-17 and teachers from all over Redbridge. It was an opportunity for young people to discuss and debate "Fairness" and let us know what they think. Co-chair of the Commission, Cllr Mark Santos, opened the conference and told us that one of his favourite quotes was from former Prime Minster, Gordon Brown, that “Inequality should not be woven into the fabric of our lives".
The main facilitators were Phoebe and Jake from the social justice group "The Spark", who were entertaining and informative. They led the activities, workshops and debates. I think everyone present enjoyed their enthusiasm and zeal for social justice even if I thought there could have been a little more balance and objectivity at times.
The final session was a brainstorming about "how can we make Redbridge fairer?" . The feedback was wide ranging: - a mass of analysis and ideas. I picked up "improve relations between different communities, promote a sense of unity, work experience hub, tackle age divide, teach practical financial skills, a swimming pool in Seven Kings, more youth clubs and greater community cohesion".
(picture by Banksy used in photo activity)