Meet the Propel Partner: The GLA

Learn a little more about the people behind Propel. This month we chat to Anisa, a Young Assessor for the GLA, who shares her experience of assessing Propel applications, the need for quality mentoring opportunities and Mile End’s best African food.

How could having a mentor impact a young person’s lifelong term? 

Having a mentor in a young person’s life can have long-term benefits. Mentors can offer guidance, support, and valuable life lessons. They can help young people navigate challenges, set goals, and make important decisions. I think it’s important to recognise that whilst mentorship provides guidance and support, mentees can also teach mentors a lot. Mentees bring fresh perspectives, new ideas, and unique experiences to the table. Overall, I believe having a mentor can greatly impact a young person’s personal and professional development. 

Which three words would you use to describe being an assessor for the GLA? 

  • Exciting- It’s super exciting to see projects come to life and be a part of the change that impacts hundreds of lives!  
  • Empowering- I feel empowered to be able to influence decisions that shape my community and the future of London. It’s inspiring to collaborate with others who share a common goal of making a difference, working together to support initiatives that address local needs and create meaningful impact. 
  • Insightful- Being an assessor has been insightful, as I have learned so much in a short time! Reviewing applications has exposed me to a range of projects, deepening my understanding of community needs and dynamics, and informing my future contributions to community development. 

Why is it important that funders involve young people in their decision making? 

I believe it is important that funders involve young people in their decision-making, because although the changes being made may not always directly apply to them, it can still significantly impact those around them. By including their perspectives, we can ensure that the decisions made are more inclusive and considerate of the diverse needs and experiences of the community. It’s about creating a better future and nurturing the next generation of leaders.  

Propel NDYP is focused on supporting young Londoners, what are some of the most important concerns for you as a young person in London? 

Mental Health: Rising mental health issues amongst young people, with limited access to support services.  

Safety Concerns: Higher crime rates in certain areas, impacting daily life and well-being. 

Education and Employment: Challenges accessing quality education and securing a well-paying job. 

Housing Affordability: Difficulty finding affordable housing due to high costs and limited availability. 

Lastly, could you share some of your London favourites?

  • Place: Victoria Park in Mile End- The sunrise and sunsets in the park are breathtaking. The way the sky lights up with vibrant colours is just magical. The ponds with ducks and swans are the best thing ever. It’s a great place to relax for a moment or two… 
  • Book: The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse- I was gifted this book by an important mentor/role model in my life. This book explores themes of love, kindness, friendship, courage, and the beauty of life, it’s about characters who embark on a journey together sharing wisdom, insights, and moments of vulnerability. I am extremely lucky to have embarked on a journey with my mentor. 
  • Restaurant: Afrikana Kitchen in Mile End- Is the best place for authentic African food with a modern twist! When I took myself and my younger brother to try the food for the first time, we decided it’s our new favourite restaurant… for now.