YOUNGSTERS in North Tyneside have a new voice – Jade Hope.
The 15-year-old Longbenton Community College student topped the polls in the election of the next Young Mayor, securing 2,475 of the 6,746 votes cast by young people in the borough, beating off competition from three other candidates.
And the Year 11 student has already set out her aims for her year in office, with her manifesto including plans to improve sexual health facilities by making them more young person friendly; setting up a Facebook page so young people can give their opinions; and improving access to careers advice.
Jade said: “I am shocked but really pleased.
“I campaigned really hard, so it’s great that it’s paid off. I campaigned in my school, in other schools, and also went around town centres at weekends.
“I think it’s going to be a massive responsibility, but I am really proud.
“My school have been really supportive, especially Miss Lowery, my religious studies teacher, who has also been my campaign manager. I couldn’t have done it without her.
“Huge thanks to my family, and to everyone who supported me, too.”
She added: “The first thing I’d like to do is work to get more quality careers advice we get in school.
“It would be good to have more people from business come into school and talk about their work, to inspire us, so I’d like to try and make that happen.”
North Tyneside Mayor Linda Arkley presented Jade with her Young Mayor medal.
She said: “I would like to congratulate all of the candidates who have worked to get their own personal messages across.
“I myself know how much work this involves so I am delighted that so many young people have put themselves forward to become a representative and voice of our young people.
“I am looking forward to working with Jade over the coming year, and hearing the ideas she has to improve North Tyneside for our young people.”
Jade will succeed Rebecca Leighton when she steps down in December.
Rebecca said: “My message to Jade is to enjoy every moment as it’s a fantastic opportunity.
“I’m really sad to be going, but I’ve had a great experience.
“My highlight was organising the music concert for young people – ‘The Event@Segedunum’.”
Jade will represent young people in the borough, giving them a voice, and work with North Tyneside’s Young Cabinet and Youth Council to influence decisions made by the council’s Mayor, cabinet and council.
She will also be able to influence initiatives that will benefit young people in North Tyneside, and ensure that young people are consulted on decisions that affect them.