Rachel Ojo,16, from Essex, is currently studying Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry and Economics at A-levels. She is an active member of the Basildon Borough Youth Council, the Young Essex Assembly and is also Co-Chair of the Basildon Borough Youth Strategy Group. As a Member of UK Youth Parliament, she has actively campaigned and spoken in parliament about women’s rights and transport. Rachel is extremely passionate about tackling knife crime because she sees young people feeling safe as a priority and wants to ensure that the voices of all young people are heard in society.
Vice Chair of the Youth Select Commitee
Susuana Senghor, 16, from Slough, is a former Slough Youth Parliament representative. She credits her work in the Youth Parliament for helping her gain experience in networking and setting up campaigns. She is excited to take up this opportunity in the Youth Select Committee to work with other young people and make a change. Susuana believes that through practicing thorough research and consistency, the Committee will be able to influence social policies and people’s attitudes to knife crime. Her other aims are to increase the government funding for youth centres and Community Support Officers.
Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament
Bailey-Lee, 17, has been a Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament for his local area of the Cowdenbeath Constituency since 2017. He recently took up the role of the Convener of the External Affairs, UK & International Relations Committee in 2018, working on a variety of issues including the Commonwealth and Brexit. Bailey-Lee is also a member of the Youth Advisory Board at the NSPCC. He has seen the impact of knife crime first hand in his area of Fife, and throughout Scotland, and wants to do what he can to reduce it.
Member of Welsh Youth Parliament for Newport East
Charley Oliver-Holland, 16, is a Member of Youth Parliament for Monmouthshire, a Member of Welsh Youth Parliament for Newport East and Chair of Monmouthshire’s Youth Council. She has been working with Monmouthshire Youth Service doing both Youth Council and volunteer work for the past few years. She enjoys working to make the world a better place for the next generation and has previously done campaign work to encourage others to participate in politics. She is passionate about knife crime as she wants to ensure the issue is tackled before it spreads to the outer city areas in Wales.
Young Mayor of the Borough of Broxbourne
Chris Bakalis, 17, is currently studying at Sixth Form. His interests include supporting young people as the Youth Mayor of the Borough of Broxbourne. Since noticing a rise in youth violence in Broxbourne, he decided to use his role as Youth Mayor to get involved with the Council's youth violence project and support the work of local schools. Chris is also a Young Commissioner for Hertfordshire County Council, where he gets the opportunity to get involved and influence the services available to young people. This includes how they are delivered and what the outcomes should be.
Member of Youth Parliament for Halton
Ewan Jago, 16, has represented Halton as a Member of Youth Parliament for the last 2 years. While there, he has managed to get two motions passed by his local council, all the while working extensively to improve the lives of the young people across his borough. He was inspired to join the Youth Select Committee because he believes that it is vital that knife crime is tackled to ensure that young peoples’ lives are no longer in jeopardy. He has seen first hand the affects that knife crime has had in his area and wants to help avoid this from happening further nationally.
Youth Police and Crime Commissioner for Coventry
Husnaa Mota is 17 and currently studying A-Levels in Biology ,Chemistry and Psychology along with her EPQ (extended project qualification on Artificial intelligence) in Coventry. Husnaa is the current Youth Police and Crime Commissioner (YPCC) for Coventry, and is an active member and youth leader at Positive Youth Foundation (PYF). She enjoys taking part in various social action projects like Refugee Week, youth loneliness and EmpowHER. Alongside her YPCC role and activities in PYF, she plays netball once a week,and actively volunteers for Penny Appeal taking part in sponsored challenges having climbed Mount Snowdon and Ben Nevis for the second time.
Member of Nottinghamshire District Youth Forum
Jack Heald, 16, is currently studying Politics, History and Religious Studies at A-Level. He joined the Nottinghamshire District Youth Forum 4 years ago and has since chaired Nottinghamshire’s Young People’s Board and served as a member of the Police Youth forum. He has helped lead campaigns to reduce Youth Violence and to improve Sexual Health Services and LGBT+ Rights. He became inspired to join the Youth Select Committee after he witnessed the impact that knife crime has had in his own community and hopes that as young people, they can spearhead campaigns to reduce it.
Co-Chair on the Newham Youth Commission
James Appiah, 16, from Stratford, is currently studying Geography, Economics and Politics at St Bonaventure’s School, where he is also Head Boy. He is a leader at The East London Citizens Organisation as well as Co-Chair on the Newham Youth Commission. He has also gained valuable experience as Co-Student Leader of the Christian Agency for Overseas Development. James was propelled to join the Youth Select Committee as a result of recent stabbings in his area. He wants to use his skills and his political influence to help reduce the rates of knife crime in his constituency.
Member of Youth Parliament for East Belfast
Jodie Floyd, 16, has been representing East Belfast as a Member of Youth Parliament since 2018 and greatly enjoys her position. She is also a member of the Senior Members Committee in her local youth club. She is excited to be a part of this year’s Youth Select Committee because she is interested in learning more about how knife crime is affecting young people and communities across the UK. She also hopes to take what she learns in the committee, to contribute to a variety of new programmes in Belfast and influence her work within the Youth Parliament.
Member of Youth Parliament for Enfield
Theo Sergiou, 17, from Edmonton, is currently Deputy Chairing both the Enfield Youth Parliament and London Youth Assembly. He’s constantly pushed for youth perspective in legislation and feels too often, wrong assumptions are being made and lives are being lost as a consequence. Knife Crime has been at the heart of Theo’s campaigns over the last two years as it has shadowed over his friends, family and community. He has also been working to help integrate police-officers, expand educational opportunities and facilitate peer support. He credits his experiences with a variety of people in intense situations for giving him a unique perspective on the world.