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Barking and Dagenham Youth Forum

Barking and Dagenham Youth Forum (BADYF) was set up in 2001 by young people to have a say in issues affecting their lives and communities.

Today, the forum, comprising of 13 to 19 year olds elected by peers in schools and youth groups, continues to have a say and influence on policy makers.

Some of the issues we care about:

  • crime
  • health
  • education
  • building a positive image of young people
  • what to do and where to go

How to get involved

To be part of BADYF you must live, work or be in education or training in Barking and Dagenham.

Elections are held every January in all Barking and Dagenham secondary schools and Trinity School. Ask your teachers about the BADYF elections in your school.

If you don’t go to a school or youth group in Barking and Dagenham, or if there is an issue you want the forum to investigate, get in touch.

Elections 2018

If you have nominated yourself in your school, it is a really good idea to write a manifesto that you can display in school. The manifesto lets people know why they should vote for you and there are some useful tips of how to write a good manifesto.

If you need any help to write your manifesto, get in touch.

How the forum works (PDF, 68.59 KB)

Who supports the forum (PDF, 70.69 KB)

Terms of reference (PDF, 163.68 KB)

BAD Youth Forum manifesto (DOCX, 252.58 KB)

Tips for writing a good manifesto (DOCX, 253.16 KB)

The Young Mayor Toggle accordion

The Young Mayor is elected by Barking and Dagenham Youth Forum which itself is elected by young people through their secondary schools and youth organisations.

Wesley Oparaugo

A new Young Mayor for Barking and Dagenham has been appointed for the fourth year after Wesley Oparaugo replaced Vaisaly Gnanapandithan. Wesley, 15, who attends Robert Clack School, was a member of the Barking and Dagenham Youth Forum in 2017. He is the first male to become Young Mayor and was one of five candidates who stood to be elected.

Wesley gave a short manifesto speech to the members of the newly elected Barking and Dagenham Youth Forum followed by a democratic vote and was elected as the fourth Young Mayor on Monday 5 March at the Vibe Youth Centre.

His term will run from March 2018 until February 2019 and he will work alongside one of the BAD Youth Forum sub-groups to choose a local youth charity selected by a public youth vote. Once the charity is identified, the group will choose their fundraising events for the year and aim to raise as much money as possible. Wesley will also attend 15 formal events as Young Mayor.  He has already attended the Women’s Empowerment Month launch at the Town Hall where he gave a brilliant speech entitled ‘Equality Now’.

Wesley is delighted to become the first male to hold such a prestigious post and said: “I am extremely excited and deeply honoured to have been elected as the Young Mayor. I really wanted to be the Young Mayor because I want young people to feel that they can speak up, regardless of whatever they are going through. I have been elected for a reason, and I vow to give my all to make sure the youth of Barking and Dagenham are heard, and not just seen. I am also very honoured to be the first male Young Mayor, and I hope to pave the way for more to gather confidence and go for roles like this.”

Councillor Evelyn Carpenter, Cabinet Member for Educational Attainment and School Improvement, said:
“I am very pleased to welcome Wesley to his new post as Young Mayor for the borough.I have no doubts that he will be a major success and will do everything to help the youth of Barking and Dagenham. Also, I should like to thank Vaisaly Gnanapandithan who did a great job as Young Mayor last year and raised a great deal of money for Barking and Dagenham Young Carers.”

Request the Young Mayor’s attendance


Sally Allen-Clarke

The Vibe, 195-211 Becontree Avenue, Dagenham RM8 2UT

07971 111 532