Croydon has elected its first ever Young Mayor in a manner that mirrors the electoral process, giving the young people of Croydon their first taste of democracy in action.
Coloma was very proud that two of the 28 candidates are current students: Isabella McGurry, Year 12 and Caitlin Farrell, Year 11. Following two months of active campaigning on issues close to their hearts – for Isabella reducing poverty and increasing social mobility and for Caitlin improved opportunities for work experience and training – there was a hard-fought election on 13th March, with Coloma being one of the polling stations in the borough.
In preparation for campaigning the candidates attended a 3 day ‘boot camp’ during half-term in which they honed their skills in active listening, public speaking and planned and produced their promotional videos which were posted on YouTube.
Isabella and Caitlin together with all candidates will become part of the Youth Forum, run by the Mayor, which meets monthly to address issues concerning the young people of Croydon. They have both said that participating in this event has developed their confidence, helped them to learn new skills and widened their circle of friends. Caitlin said: ‘It is a wonderful initiative and I would definitely encourage others to take part.’ Isabella said that ‘it encourages young people to play an active role and strive to meet the aims they have for Croydon.’