As a youth practitioner with mental health service HeadStart Newham, Rebecca Rice has strong feelings about young people in the borough.
What’s your connection with the borough?
I’m from Newham. I went to Portway Primary and Eastlea Community School. Since leaving school I have worked for several youth services within the borough. This area will always be part of who I am and I will hopefully always work here to make it a great place to live for young people.
What’s the best thing about working or living in the borough?
The best thing about working here is definitely the young people. I meet young people every day through my current work as a youth practitioner with HeadStart Newham. The kids here are so resilient and they probably give me more than I give them. I help them see what they already have inside: courage, confidence and pride. But they give me hope that the work I do is making a difference.
What one thing would you change?
A safer Newham. I’d like to see more community-based groups that encourage people to look out for each other.
Use three words to describe the area.
Diverse, hopeful and proud.
Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met?
My youth worker! When I was 15, I had a hard time seeing my future as positive. My youth worker changed my perspective. She spent time with me and encouraged me to explore my interests. She helped me realise I could find a career that I’d love.
What new law would you introduce if you were the prime minister?
I’m not sure about a new law, but I think we could all celebrate a new national holiday by staying in our PJs. I’d introduce JimJam Day!
If you were the editor of this paper, what issues in the borough would you focus on?
We need to keep the focus on good mental and emotional health for our young people. Newham is moving towards empowering our young people and we all have a responsibility to make sure every young person is happy, healthy and knows their future can be bright.
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