21st July 2013: Below is the letter we sent to the CEO of Haringey Council. He had until the 2nd Aug 2013 to reply.
2nd Aug 2013: The Head of Communications of Haringey Council contacted us to commence ‘talks’ on how they can produce more positive youth news in Haringey, so we called off our campaign.
9th Aug 2013: The Head of Communications of Haringey Council gave us a date to meet: 21st Aug 2013.
15th Aug 2013: It was A level results day. Haringey Council set up a Facebook page and then went to visit schools, to capture the reactions of young people live. They posted pictures, they told us stories about the young people who achieved. They sent over 20 Tweets and retweeted all of the schools, college and newspaper articles all day!! The whole world knew how well Haringey had done.
We felt this was really important as it makes young people feel valued, especially after working so hard. It lets the wider community know the good things young people get up to. It also lets potential employers know that Haringey is a successful borough and they shouldn’t judge young people negatively who come from here.
We did a Tweet assessment to see how Haringey council did compared to other boroughs and Haringey were far out in the lead. Some London boroughs must’ve forgot it was A level day as they didn’t even mention it!
Obviously, we’re not claiming it was all down to us…. ok maybe we are! ;-]
21st Aug 2013: Today was the day we were going to meet Haringey Council. We had a quick pre-meeting to prepare at a high class establishment called McDonalds! The council moved the meeting to the Civic Centre, they said it was because the other office closed at 5:30pm, but we knew they just wanted us to walk up the hill to exhaust us! :-]
In the meeting was us, Sally who is the Head of News, Libby who is the Director of Children’s Services, Lauren who is in charge of children and young people’s stories and George who is the new Assistant Director of Communications. Sally opened her bag and placed on the table several packets of biscuits. We were suspicious at first, but the temptation of a Jammy Dodger was too much and we thought one wouldn’t hurt!
We introduced ourselves and then started to tell them how the reputation of Haringey was impacting on us, our opportunity to get a job and the way people talk to us at University. They understood our problem and listened to what we had to say, so we thought at that stage another Jammy Dodger was acceptable!
We then said how we thought the angles of the stories could be changed to concentrate more on the achievements of the young people. We felt people wanted more human stories. Libby thought it was useful to hear that feedback and could think of some examples of where that could happen.
We were now on our third Jammy Dodger and it was time to lay it on the line at what we wanted: one positive youth news story a week. George was reluctant to commit to a number, he had a friendly smile so we didn’t know how to tell him he had to! Libby suggested that they will start to increase the number of stories and maybe we could give her feedback on how they were doing. We thought that was a suitable compromise.
Sally then offered us the opportunity to suggest stories about local young people that could be in Haringey People magazine. She slipped in that she was a Zoom Rockman fan, we like Zoom Rockman fans and we liked her idea.
We then left, but we didn’t take the biscuits. We feel that we have achieved a lot because we explained why it was important but we will be monitoring the progress. Don’t worry folks, we will get our one story a week soon and we will resist George’s smile in future! :-]
22nd Aug 2013: Today was GCSE results day. Haringey council were out in full force, they like had the whole office out in all of the schools, taking pictures and finding individual success stories. Their Twitter and Facebook was full of pictures, stories and even a video! We were really impressed.
We compared them to other London boroughs again, and they were the best by far. For some reason the some of the other boroughs didn’t remember how important this day was to young people and didn’t even mention it!
We did some Twitter Awards, there were no prizes as we are young people and all of our money goes on Nando’s. We awarded Haringey Council ‘Best Twitter Feed’ and ‘Best Captured Moment’ for exam results coverage.
We will keep you updated.