YOUNG PEOPLE HELP SHAPE THE FUTURE QUEEN ELIZABETH OLYMPIC PARK

Thirty young people from the six Olympic Host Boroughs have been selected to offer innovative and fresh ideas into what should be created for the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Over the next year, members of the newly recruited 2011 Legacy Youth Panel will work with the Olympic Park Legacy Company and contribute to the long term planning for the Park.

The 13-21 year olds will be involved in projects including:

  • Working with the Real Estate team as they prepare to market the development of new neighbourhoods on the Park
  • Reviewing visitor attractions across London to understand their relationships with local communities
  • Working with the Socio-Economic team in forecasting business and employment opportunities
  • Working with the Marketing and Communications team as they plan events and attractions in the Park from 2013

        
They will also host seminars and workshops to explain the 25 year legacy project to their peers and the opportunities it will bring for local people.

Andrew Altman, Chief Executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, said:

“We want young people to feel a sense of ownership towards the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park because they are the generation whose lives will change the most, through the provision of new homes, schools, community and sporting venues.

“The Legacy Youth Panel is a fantastic opportunity to capture the imagination of young people and galvanise others to get involved in a once in a lifetime regeneration project.”

Communities Minister, Bob Neill MP, said:

“It’s great that young people from local neighbourhoods can play their part in planning the long term future of the Olympic Park through the OPLC’s Legacy Youth Panel. This gives them a real opportunity to understand the many and varied challenges that the management and development of the Park entails. This scheme enables young people to get a real sense of ownership of the the Olympic Park and to play their part in designing the area for future generations.”

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:

“The Games will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Londoners and this is a fantastic opportunity for youngsters to help shape their own legacy for generations to come.

“The Olympic Park is changing the landscape of East London and it would be a tragedy if its future citizens were not driving that transformation.”

Plans include the development of up to 8,000 new homes, schools and health centres in five new neighbourhoods, along with the running of venues such as the Stadium, the Multi-Use Arena, the ArcelorMittal Orbit and the Press and Broadcast Centre as well as becoming a major visitor destination.

The Legacy Youth Panel has been running for three years and the new Panel members will join the existing 50 young people forming the Legacy Youth Panel. Below is a selection of quotes from the new Panel members.

BARKING & DAGENHAM

Panel member, David Simmons, 15, from All Saints Catholic School, said:

“Representing Barking and Dagenham is a great honour and privilege. Being apart of the Legacy Youth Panel gives young people a great deal of pride and self-esteem and I am looking forward to being able to make a change and difference to people’s lives.”

TOWER HAMLETS

Panel member, Atqiya Islam, from Central Foundation Girl’s School, said:

“I think it’s great that the young people are getting involved with the legacy of the Olympic Park as it allows them to expand their knowledge about something incredible that is happening in their lifetime. Being on the Panel gives a sense of triumph as we get an input as to what happens to a great area in a great city.”

      
Panel member, Farhana Aktar, 15, from St Paul’s Way Trust School, said:

“I wanted to join the Legacy Youth Panel because I believe it will give me the opportunity to give my opinions towards the decisions that may affect local people. That way I can contribute my ideas and opinions such as leisure facilities for younger people that are affordable. Ever since I have joined the Legacy Youth Panel, I have met new people from different boroughs and this has been a great experience so far because it has enabled me to hear the different opinions people have about what should happen after the Games. As I am a new member, I am looking forward to the change and decisions our Youth Panel will make in the distant future to make this is a legacy for local people.”

NEWHAM

Panel member, Kishan Patel, 16, from Lister Community School, said:

“Opening doors to what happens after the Games is a huge thing. The Legacy Youth Panel are coming up with ideas on how to make sure how the Olympic Park can help people from the surrounding areas. I feel privileged to be working on something that will affect the future. Something like the Olympics only comes once in a lifetime in your area. To sum it up, it is amazing!”

        
Panel member, Elizabeth Annor-Agyei, 14, from St Angela’s Ursuline School, said:

“Being a member of the Legacy Youth Panel has given me a sense of importance within my community. However, best of all, it gives the younger generation a sense of responsibility within their society. We are given the opportunity to bring forward our ideas, which are taken on board by people with authority, over certain areas. The Legacy Youth Panel infuses diversity and difference together, through communication and commitment. These are then transformed into producing something beneficial for communities on a whole.”

       
Panel member, Mohamed Abdulle, 16, from Forest Gate Community School, said:

“The legacy for young people is the most important thing about the Olympic Games. The biggest impact is going to be on the community, especially the youth as it’s their homes and lives that are going to be changed. The Legacy Youth Panel is made up from youth that will have the most impact towards the Olympics and is rather astonishing. We are able to change not only ours but the future of other young people for the better.”

GREENWICH

Panel member, Zosia Eyres, 16, said:

“Working on the Youth Panel has been a very refreshing experience. It has given me the chance to meet a wide variety of interesting, opinionated people and I have been able to work together with them to contribute to a better future for our collective boroughs. I really feel like we are making a difference and knowing that you have changed something to benefit others is one of the best feelings you can have.”

        
Panel member, Tommy Pullen, 16, from The Brit School, said:

“Young people now have the chance to make a real impact on their future. That excites me, ands it’s thanks to the Legacy Youth Panel that I can do this.”

HACKNEY

Samantha Whitmore, 15, from Hackney Free School, said:

“I am really glad that I’ve joined the Legacy Youth Panel. I have always shown an interest in the Olympics but I am also curious about what the legacy of the park will hold. Joining the Panel was a great way of being able to interact with different people from different host boroughs and share our views about what we would like for the Olympic Park to be like in the near-by future. We are the generation in which would mainly benefit from the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.”

WALTHAM FOREST

Amber Byrne, 14, from St Angela’s Ursuline School, said:

“The Legacy Youth Panel has given me a chance to have my views heard about the legacy of the Olympic Park, and it is a brilliant feeling to know that these views will actually be taken into account. I also find it fantastic how the Panel has brought together people from different boroughs, backgrounds and ages to work together to try and make the legacy of the Park something we can all value and enjoy. I’ve already had the pleasure of having some brilliant experiences through the panel, and I’m sure there are more to come.”

       
Lauren Byrne, 16, from St Angela’s & Bonaventure’s Sixth Form College, said:

“I enjoy being an LYP member because I know that I get a say in what is going to happen to the olympic park and the whole area after the 2012 Olympics. It’s good to know that young people are having an input into the future of their local area. Also the feeling you get when you know that your opinion is actually being valued taken into acount as a young person is fantastic!”