On Tuesday 22nd August hundreds of teenagers will walk through rush hour in Central Manchester to demand greater power in the fight for a more fair and united society.

The Walk for Change (1) aims to combat the political marginalisation of young people from politics and debates about their future. It comes exactly three months after the Manchester Arena attacks, at a time when hate crimes in Manchester have risen 500%. In a country where young people are still seen but not heard in decisions that affect their lives, Team Future will demand recognition of their collective power.

The Walk for Change will smash stereotypes about working class young people and inspire marginalised young people from across the region to recognise their power as social change leaders.

Shawnee Dillon, 16, Team Future organiser from Brinnington said

We are walking to show to other young people in Greater Manchester that their voices and opinions are valid, to empower them and to help them believe in themselves enough to make their voices heard. We want to bring young working class people together to build a platform and a movement big enough that we can no longer be ignored

Jessie Barnard, 28, coordinator at RECLAIM said

Team Future have been from Rochdale to Stockport building momentum for this Walk. It’s clear just how politically isolated and hungry for change many young people are feeling right now. There are so many young people out there who are unhappy with the unequal and divided world they are inheriting and who are looking for a way to make their voice heard. Team Future is opening up this space for them to come together and see that they have power in numbers.

Marchers will carry banners bearing slogans such as ‘We demand to be heard’, and placards highlighting the issues that matter to them as young people - from homelessness, to racial equality, climate change and mental health. The non-party political march is being organised by Team Future (2), a youth-led campaign group hosted at the leadership and social change charity RECLAIM (3).

Team Future are asking all young people and adults who support their message to congregate in Piccadilly Gardens at 4.30pm. The march will travel down market street to the Football Musuem, where young people will give speeches and spoken word and musical performances, enact stunts and recruit new members.

The Walk for Change is the crescendo of a busy summer of youth activism for Team Future - including a four day road-trip (4) last week. This saw 20 young organisers visit every borough of Greater Manchester, running sessions in youth clubs and recording candid interviews with young people in town centres. You can watch the inside story of their journey in a video diary they recorded along the way.

Following the march the group will continue to build its numbers and profile, with the aim of providing a strong and well-known platform from which working class young people can contribute to media and political debate.

QUOTES

Samuel Remi-Akinwale, Team Future organiser from Manchester 17, said:

Team Future is all about building the collective power and voice of young people in our society - especially working class young people who are often the most locked out of debate. We want to engage with young people just like ourselves all around Greater Manchester, have some fun and show that we have the power to make a difference if we work together.

Elijah Walters-Othman, 17, Team Future organiser from Longsight said:

We started Team Future after the Brexit vote because we felt young people had been locked out of a decision we needed to be involved in more than ever. Our society is at a crossroads, and over the past year we’ve seen more and more young people making a stand for the direction they believe we need to go, including through coming out in record numbers to vote in the General Election.

Now it’s time for ALL young people to have a voice. As working class young people we are one of the most underestimated groups in society. We are sick of politicians talking about us but never to us and of being painted in the media as disengaged and feral. It’s time we had a genuine platform to help bring about the bold, ethical hopeful future we believe in - and that’s what Team Future is hoping to build.

Olivia, 15, Team Future organiser from Moss Side said:

We need young people in Manchester to know that there is still hope and that there are platforms for them to speak up and fight for what they believe in.

Education in politics isn't always available for young people. It’s so important that there are more opportunities for young people to have the educational environment that schools are clearly lacking in and that’s one of the things we are trying to do in Team Future.

CONTACT:

Politically engaged young people available for interviews and commentary.

High res images of Team Future photos available in this folder: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0By8A5R_5A9iLbHpNNTZYbUdQLVE

For more information or to arrange interview please contact Jessie Barnard on 07715210101 or j.barnard@reclaimproject.org.uk

NOTES TO EDITORS

  1. More information about the Walk for Change here: https://www.reclaim.org.uk/Event/walk-for-change-2017
  2. Team Future is a youth collective building the power and voice of working class young people. It was started by a group of under-18s who in the wake of the Brexit vote felt locked out of a decision that would affect their generation more than any other, and dismayed at the divisive and self-serving political leadership on show. More information and background here: https://www.reclaim.org.uk/team-future
  3. RECLAIM is a youth leadership and social change charity active in working class communities across Greater Manchester. https://www.reclaim.org.uk/team-future
  4. Team Future’s Summer Road Trip took place between Monday 7th and Thursday 10th August. Destinations included: the Trafford Centre, Rochdale (Rochdale Young Advisors), Salford WUU2 youth centre, Bury market, Brinnington youth centre, Factory youth zone (Harpurhey), Wigan youth zone, Moss Side Powerhouse, the People's History Museum and Ashton-under-Lyme town centre. You can watch Team Future’s full video diary here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ne2mu4qZe3s