South Leeds primary schoolgirl Hannah Begum has been shortlisted for the Children’s Lord Mayor of Leeds. Ten year old Hannah from Hunslet Moor Primary school in Beeston is the only candidate from South Leeds.
Applications for the role of Children’s Lord Mayor were open to all year six pupils in the Leeds area with a significant increase in calibre from previous years taking the short listing numbers up to 12 candidates.
Each child had to write their own wish or manifesto and put forward to get chosen. Hannah has said:
“If I was Children’s Lord Mayor of Leeds, I would love to set up ‘Global Families of Leeds Project’ Her manifesto is very simple – bringing children and young people of Leeds to have more opportunities to interact with each other.”
I originally met Hannah three years ago when I was a dinner lady at the school. I wasn’t surprised she went for the role, even in year three she was always looking out for others. I meet her now, and she is tired after a week of campaigning, she’s just been at Hunslet Carr this morning. The school has been networking with local schools in the area and arranging Hannah to visit within school time. They also seized the opportunity at a recent parent consultation by informing all the parents where to vote. Her mum says:
“She is so confident, just getting up there and speaking in front of a class of children she doesn’t know, it just naturally flows and she doesn’t have trouble getting her vision over to the other children”.
Hunslet Moor primary school are 100% behind Hannah too, especially her year six teacher Miss Hicks. The head teacher Hannah Darley said:
“We can’t think of a better candidate. Her manifesto is clear and she has initiated everything herself, showing great motivation and a role model to her peers.”
Hannah doesn’t stop with local school children, she has also written to Prime Minister David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson. She wants her mission statement to reach the top. She writes ‘My community is very transient with many new families coming from all over the world. My project would give the perfect platform for children and young people to feel safe, ask questions, and learn about respecting other cultures, religions and beliefs in a safe environment.’
Her practical approach is cost effective too. She says the groups already exist and it would only be a little bit of work to coordinate a database for the organisations that would like to sign up along with help to transport them around the city. Sounds straight forward to me, get the kids together and let them do the rest!
Should Hannah become Children’s Lord Mayor of Leeds, not only will she be able to turn her dream into a reality, but she will get to help switch on the Christmas Lights and have her name engraved in ‘gold’ in the civic hall.
Where do you get to read Hannah’s manifesto and help her to become Children’s Lord Mayor of Leeds? Click here to find out.
You do have to be under 18 years old to vote, and polls close on Thursday 5 November.
Hannah will be campaigning tomorrow today (27 October 2015) outside Iceland on Dewsbury Road.