A SADDLEWORTH-RAISED youngster has been sworn in as Oldham’s 12th Youth Mayor.
Tia Henderson from Diggle succeeds Samah Khalil who became the youngest person to be recognised in the 2020 Queen’s New Year Honours List when awarded the British Empire Medal last December.
Now living in Chadderton and a civil servant, Tia’s elevation from deputy had been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s a great honour for me to be Youth Mayor,” said 18-year-old Tia, who attended St Anne’s C of E Primary and Saddleworth School.
“It means I am able to do what I love best, which is representing young people and creating positive change.
“I am passionate and determined to ensure Oldham’s young people have their voices, not only heard, but listened too and acted upon.
“Over the course of the next year I hope to be an advocate for young people and express what they feel is important, while inviting them along on my journey as Youth Mayor.”
Tia is the first Care Experienced young person to become Youth Mayor of Oldham.
In an interview with the Independent last year after becoming an ambassador for the Hope 2020 campaign Tia explained: “I have been through the foster care system and it proves no matter what kind of difficulties you face if you want something you can get there by putting your mind to it.“Hopefully, I can show young people, especially across Oldham, they can achieve these things but may not realise the potential they have got.”
A member of the town’s Youth Council since 2018 she has attended numerous events and represented Oldham’s young people on various boards and panels.
This has included being an active member of the corporate parenting panel and local safeguarding children partnership.
Tia has also represented local young people outside of the borough – regionally and nationally – directly questioning the Prime Minister on young people’s mental health, education and achieving their potential, and attending All Party Parliamentary Groups in the House of Commons.She is a National Voice Ambassador and an active member of many different groups that represent young people such as the Children in Care council.
Oldham Council Leader, Councillor Arooj Shah, said: “Tia is a wonderful representative of the young people of Oldham.
“Her continuous dedication and commitment to the youth council and the various other boards and panels she participants in shows just how much of an amazing advocate she is for young people, both locally and nationally.
“I’m really looking forward to working alongside Tia over the next 12 months and seeing first-hand the great work she will do in this role.”