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3 minute read

A visit to Bolton Town Hall taught young people from Youth Leads UK about Bolton’s rich history.

Eight young women from Bolton had the opportunity to meet the Mayor of Bolton, Councillor Mohammed Ayub, and learn about the history of Bolton through a detailed tour of the Town Hall. 

The young women who attended were all alumni of the Youth Leads UK Leadership Programme – an initiative which focuses on skills enrichment, supporting young people to reach their potential and influence change. This visit gave young people the opportunity to have conversations with civic leaders and have their voices heard, bridging the gap between both groups and encouraging positive future change, in line with the organisation’s mission.

Some notable moments from the visit included tea and biscuits with the Mayor of Bolton, Councillor Mohammed Ayub; the chance to sit in the council chambers where vital decisions are made for the Bolton borough; and the tribute to Bolton’s brilliant women – a historical archive along a corridor in the Town Hall. 

The visit also gave the young women of Bolton an insight into the careers of the women before them, and all that they achieved throughout Bolton’s history. The tribute includes Helen Wright, Bolton’s first female Mayor; Sarah Reddish, prominent co-operative movement activist and suffragist; Elizabeth Anderson, active suffragette and founder of the Women’s Relief Corps during the First World War, and more. 

The town hall has many paintings and key artefacts that represent decades of leaders within Bolton who made a positive impact and have led Bolton to be what it is today, leaving young leaders inspired.

Amina, 24, a young person from Bolton and Youth Leads UK Alumni said:

“I had never been to the mayor’s parlour before. I really enjoyed having tea with The Mayor and discussing the bright future ahead. The visit to the Town Hall was a great opportunity to explore Bolton’s rich history and to see the remarkable women from Bolton’s past. Who knows, perhaps in the coming years, I will find myself among them on those walls!”

Imaan, 17, a young person from Bolton and Youth Leads UK Alumni said:

“I had an amazing time. Being able to have tea and discuss Bolton’s future objectives helped me see the bigger picture. It was great seeing The Mayor’s office, and I told him I’d be the next Mayor in that office! What inspired me was the corridor filled with the great women of Bolton. Seeing all that they achieved really opened my eyes to what I could achieve.”

Saeed Atcha MBE DL, CEO and Founder of Youth Leads UK said:

“Thank you to the Mayor of Bolton, Councillor Ayub, and the Executive Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Donaghy, for inviting our young people and organising this visit. Visits like these show young people that they belong in the corridors of power and can share their experiences with decision-makers. This visit served as an acknowledgement of the young people’s social action and a nod to go further and continue making a difference.”

Youth Leads UK was established in Bolton in 2011 and has dedicated itself to support young people – bridging generational gaps between youth and key decision-makers like this can make future changes within the community a collaborative effort; one that invites young people to participate, rather than push them aside.