Lewisham Council Homepage Skip navigation

Past young mayors

Find out about the work of previous young mayors for Lewisham. 

2015–16 Emmanuel Olaniyan

Emmanuel was elected Young Mayor for the second time based on his online campaigning and digital presence. Throughout the year Emmanuel and the young advisers worked on youth violence, mental health, employment and business opportunities, reflecting the concerns of the community.

To address these issues, they built positive and meaningful partnerships with youth and health services, the police, faith groups and charities. After consultation with these partner agencies, Emmanuel and the advisers presented their budget to Mayor and Cabinet, agreeing to give the £25,000 budget in small pots so that young people, community groups and service providers could bid for small amounts of funding. A portion of the budget was also set aside for community groups and young people to address knife crime and serious youth violence.

Emmanuel and Deputy Young Mayor Hanna’s campaigns built on the support and work of the young advisors, who engaged the broader community locally, nationally and in Europe.

2014–15 Liam Islam

During his year as Young Mayor, Liam showed his support of health services by joining the NHS youth forum and taking part with his young advisers in consultations about local services. They also worked on the HeadStart Lewisham project, helping to identify mental health needs and wellbeing support for young people in the borough.

They took part in a voter registration drive and, in particular, Liam supported the Votes at 16 campaign. The group also met with school councils, took part in intergenerational work and worked with partners like the police to represent young people’s views. Liam and the young advisers took part in regional and national debates and European projects concerning democracy and enterprise.

They also asked at a Mayor and Cabinet meeting to return £5,000 of the £30,000 budget in recognition of the government cuts which have affected the borough and partners. It was agreed that the budget would be spent on a young people’s funding pot. Liam and his advisers consulted local schools, youth clubs and organisations to identify priorities for young people in Lewisham. This included extending work experience opportunities and working with local shops to make them more accessible for people with additional needs.

201314 Emmanuel Olaniyan

Emmanuel's use of social media meant he had one of the highest number of votes ever cast in a young mayor election.

During his term in office, Emmanuel worked with his Young Advisors, schools and youth groups across the borough to create projects and ideas using his £30,000 budget. This included a very popular performing arts showcase held at the TNG Youth and Community Centre, which had over 400 young people attending. Other proposals that were developed included improving sports and parks facilities and putting on more inter-school/inter-club competitions and events, a disability awareness programme and creating more employment opportunities through apprenticeships and work experience.

2012–13 Jamel Higgins

Jamel is hoping to set up a mentoring and work experience programme to support young people’s aspirations to be successful. The programme will include identifying a range of partners and possible mentors to take part from corporate, public and community sectors, as well as recruiting young people from schools/colleges and community organisations to take part in a mentoring scheme to gain new experiences, develop understanding of different careers and raise aspirations.

Jamel has contributed to events including promoting the City Safe Haven campaign and the 10,000 Hands project, taking part in discussions with local primary school councils about how to get involved in decision making, and helping promote the Young Mayor’s Enterprise Project - as well as visiting Lewisham's twin town in France, the commune of Antony, Paris.

2011–12 Kieran Lang

Kieran was elected ahead of 17 other candidates. Kieran's campaign saw him visit several schools and youth clubs across the borough with a focus on helping to bridge the gap between different age groups and presenting young people in a positive light.

Kieran attended several events both in London and abroad including trips to Poland and Sweden to share ideas about youth democracy and meeting HRH Princess Anne at UK Youth's Hearing Unheard Voices celebration at St James's Palace.

2010–11 Kieza Da Souza

Kieza was elected ahead of 24 other candidates. Kieza's use of social media during his campaign enabled him to reach a wide range of voters and became a key component of his budget proposals including the launch of the Young Mayor's YouTube channel.

In the summer of Kieza's year as Young Mayor many parts of the UK were hit by riots. Kieza played a key role in making sure young people of Lewisham were able to share their views on the disturbances at Young Citizens' Panel meetings and also with leading politicians including Ed Miliband, Yvette Cooper and Sadiq Khan.

2009–10 Jacob Sakil

Jacob was elected ahead of 15 other candidates in a tightly fought campaign which focused on giving young people the opportunity to have their say on issues affecting them and providing access to mentoring for their future careers.

Jacob worked with a wide range of groups locally and internationally including meeting with South African President Jacob Zuma during his state visit, filming a documentary for Japanese TV channel NHK and laying the foundations for the Young People's Chamber of Commerce as part of his Young Mayor's budget.

2008–09 Miguel Astudillo

Miguel was elected ahead of 19 other candidates. During his campaign Miguel focused on a wide range of issues including housing for young people, work with young offenders and activities outside of school.

Miguel also highlighted the issue of community safety and laid the foundations for the intergenerational work which has since been a key role for the Young Mayor.

2007–08 Justin Cole

Justin Cole's commitment was to developing young people’s involvement in the wider community and with older people. Justin and the young advisers wanted to show that young people could contribute to Lewisham through community events such as block parties, fun days, drama projects and events for older people.

During Justin’s term he put together performances and a mix tape around young people’s concerns and hopes, generated from debates and conferences. These were seen as ways of showing what young people were doing as well as allowing them to influence and direct the priorities of future Young Mayor’s and advisers. 

2006–07 Siobhan Bell

Siobhan Bell (left) was the f. irst young woman to be elected Young Mayor in the UK and Lewisham. Throughout Siobhan’s term she was supported by her Deputy Luziane (right) and they both had concerns that young people were portrayed negatively in the media, and the positive contributions of young people were not being acknowledged.

Siobhan and Luziane set their budget priorities around celebrating young people’s creativity and achievements. This was achieved by developing club nights and workshops across the borough, enabling young people to get their voices heard through school councils, youth clubs, the Young Citizens Panel and local forums.

2005–06 Wilf Petherbridge

Wilf Petherbridge pledged to carry on the work of Manny and the young advisers. He wanted to build on and enhance their priorities to improve access to creative and performance opportunities for young people.

During his term, Wilf developed the youth village and stage at People's Day and the young people’s band/performance night. Alongside the young advisers he chaired and held a youth cabinet meeting in Downing Street with the Prime Minister and Cabinet on youth issues. He also worked with Manny to have the programme nationally recognised via the Beacon scheme which is a first for youth engagement.

2004–05 Manny Hawks

Manny Hawks was the first Young Mayor for Lewisham, elected in April 2004. He set the template for the future development of the programme. Manny worked with his young advisers to support events for and by young people, as well as represent the views and aspirations of young people to politicians, service providers and the wider community.

The main priorities for Manny were safety (setting up the be safe feel safe workshops), the TxtBk service for young people to find out what services were available, delivering information online, a rehearsal space for bands and performers, and the 10x10 cricket competition for primary schools.

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask us anything