We are thrilled to announce that Change Champion Samy Benaferi has been appointed a trustee of the Young Harrow Foundation, the first young person to join the board!

We are thrilled to announce that Change Champion Samy Benaferi has been appointed a trustee of the Young Harrow Foundation, the first young person to join the board!

As a trustee, Samy will bring his years of experience with Young Harrow Foundation and lived experience as a local young person to the role. Having moved to Harrow at a young age, Samy has grown up here ever since, attending Hatch End High School as a teenager. A part of the Young Harrow Foundation team for three years as a Change Champion, Samy has demonstrated time and again how well he understands our mission as well as the needs of young people in Harrow.

The Change Champions are a group of young people from all different walks of life, on a mission to make Harrow a better and more supportive place for young people. They work with local and central government, local charities, police, schools and colleges, and funders - to bring the voices of themselves and their peers into conversations that impact services for young people.

In Samy’s role as a Change Champion, he took the lead on our 2018 needs analysis ‘This Is Harrow’ and has helped with our 2021 survey ‘How Are You Harrow?’. These surveys were completed by 4,000+ and 6,000+ young people respectively, and have given the borough invaluable data about the challenges facing young people. From this work, we are able to have a data-driven approach, specifically targeting funding and support to organisations in Harrow that are addressing the issues raised.

Here’s what Samy has to say about joining the board:

‘Having spent a lot of time seeing the projects we deliver firsthand, I am really looking forward to seeing the other side of Young Harrow Foundation. In particular, I am excited to see how the finance side works, and how important it is that we go about things in the right ways to help protect the young people that our members work with. I am looking forward to being in those trustee meetings as someone who grew up in Harrow.’

‘Being 21 now, I see the experiences that I had as a young person are already very different to the experiences of young people today. We need to recognise that Harrow is changing quickly and we need to continue to adapt to that. I’d love to see more mental health support for young people. Early intervention is always going to be a key part of this, rather than waiting around and letting problems get worse.’

A key part of Samy’s vision for his work as a trustee is continuing to support and promote the work of youth voice, through the Change Champions group.

‘When you’re speaking to a Change Champion, you know you are getting a genuine response. Projects like the Needs Analysis give direct input for young people to make their voices heard. It’s called the Young Harrow Foundation! If young people are going to be affected by the things we do, they need to have the first say.’

Rowena Jaber, Chair of Trustees, is excited to welcome Samy onto the board:

‘We are excited to have Samy join the Trustee Board. His journey from volunteering as a Change Champion to becoming a Trustee will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to strategic decision making and ensure that we are keeping the needs of children and young people in Harrow at the forefront of all we do.’

We would like to thank Samy for his three years working as a Change Champion and offer our congratulations. We look forward to having you on the board!