On October 25, two of our London-based writers visited the Camden Youth in Action Showcase that was run by the Fitzrovia Youth in Action (FYA) group and their internal groups of Peer Education Projects, Peer Mentoring Programme and Camden Champions.

The aim of the event was to exhibit performances, short films, and presentations made by young people of Camden Borough on the subjects of mental health, wellbeing, substance abuse, peer support, and youth safety. As a social enterprise that encourages and aids in youth involvement in politics, this was a fantastic event for us to attend as it let us both learn about issues that the youth are concerned with while also allowing us to support their efforts in spreading awareness of these issues.

One of the most exciting parts of the event for our writers was being able to watch short films focused on local issues that affect these youths’ lives. One film focused on how some of the lives of people living in Camden have been influenced by the HS2 railway project that will lead to the loss of many people’s homes to make way for this construction. The HS2 project is constructing a high-speed railway from London to Birmingham which happens to go through Camden. For many commuters, this seems like a useful project, but for some like FYA members Federico and Meki this displacement not only causes them to lose their homes but to also be separated from the local communities that they have grown up in. Another concern brought up in this short film is the lack of green spaces in the Camden area. Part of this rail line being built in Camden is through what used to be Regent’s Park. Their argument about this issue is that it means less leisure space for the surrounding community, as well as increased dust pollution through construction, leading to less time outdoors and increased frequency of colds.

Events such as these are not only an excellent way to involve the youth in their community but also act as a catalyst for other groups, organizations and individuals to gain perspective on the issues that the next generation of voters, politicians and activists care about. Shout Out UK aims to promote such integration and political involvement and therefore found this event to be a complete success. We left invigorated by the commitment of these youth and their supportive group at Fitzrovia Youth in Action and cannot wait to see their success in the future.

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