Jaykoda, aged 16, is in his third year on our Youth Board

I’ve attended my youth club since I was ten. I was so shy back then and London Youth’s City Leaders social action programme really grew my confidence. It gave me the opportunity to make positive change by producing kits bags for homeless people in my area which we distributed through the local soup kitchen. We still help out there. It shows young people are good and can make a difference when given the chance.

I joined Dare London at 13 because I wanted to learn more about youth work which I’ve benefited from and to be a voice for young people who don’t have a platform to speak out from. It’s broadened my horizons and made me much more confident and able to express my opinions. Through Dare London, I’ve been to No. 10 and Parliament where I’ve met with MPs, represented London Youth at the City Bridge Trust Chairman’s Dinner at the Old Bailey and came 2nd place in a Jack Petchey Foundation Speak Out challenge where I discussed the impact of domestic violence on young people.

Last year I was awarded a London Youth microgrant which enabled me to write and direct my first play. It was stressful and took me six months to complete something I was truly proud of. I hope it will have a long lasting impact by opening people’s eyes to the impact of poor mental health on young people.