Former winner of The Voice Jermain Jackman launches commission centred on young people in Islington

Jermain Jackman with students from Duncombe Primary School debating society. Credit: Em Fitzgerald

Jermain Jackman with students from Duncombe Primary School debating society. Credit: Em Fitzgerald - Credit: Archant

A former winner of The Voice has launched a commission centred on young people growing up in Islington.

The Fair Futures Commission, launched yesterday at The Platform youth hub in Tiltman Place, is bringing together students, parents and academics to work out the best way to help young people across the borough reach their potential.

Chairing the commission is Jermain Jackman, a former Islington Arts and Media School student who won the television talent show in 2014.

Explaining why he got involved, the 22-year-old said: “The commission resonates with me because I have seen that young people have the ability to reach their full potential, but too often society pushes them aside.

“For a young person today, mental health issues, knife crime and increasing gang violence are serious issues. This commission is a first step in the right direction towards trying to tackle these problems for young people in Islington.”

Also taking centre stage were members of the Duncombe Primary School debating society, who have been working with Islington Council to highlight the borough’s positives and negatives.

While the youngsters praised the sports facilities and libraries in the area, they also expressed concern over intimidating gangs who hang out in parks and the growing threat of people on mopeds stealing mobile phones from schoolchildren walking home.

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A suggestion was made that more police officers and community support officers should be introduced across the borough.

There will be more than 20 people in the group, including members of Islington Youth Council.

Diana Gomez, who moved to the borough four years ago, secured her place on the commission after being elected Young Mayor of Islington earlier this month.

The 18-year-old said: “I love living in Islington, because of all the services provided for young people and families, but there are still some areas which are very dangerous because of gangs.

“I would like to see more of a sense of union among communities in the borough.”

The group will be gathering information on the experience of growing up in the borough over the next year before making recommendations to the council and its partners.

Town hall children’s boss Cllr Joe Caluori said: “Our desire to see all children in Islington get the best start in life has seen us pioneer free school meals, keep all our children’s centres open despite the cuts and invest millions in youth services.

“But we recognise that too many children in Islington face barriers to setting ambitious goals and achieving their true potential.

“This commission is an important step towards removing those barriers so all children can thrive, regardless of their background.”

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