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Students raise topics which matter to them at Havering debate

PUBLISHED: 16:03 21 November 2013 | UPDATED: 16:23 21 November 2013

The panelists and students together

The panelists and students together

Archant

Young people were given a voice at a Havering debate last week.

Havering Asks, which took place at Havering College’s Ardleigh Green campus last Friday, saw high school and college students raise the topics which matter to them.

Their queries were answered by a panel chaired by BBC broadcaster Fred Dove.

College students took on a number of roles, from directing and filming the hour-long debate to acting as make-up artists.

Takura Chikomo, 20, who is studying a BTEC Level Three Extended Diploma in Media, was in charge of the production, which involved 30 people.

He said: “It was very exciting and has helped me to understand the roles of everyone involved and the teamwork needed in a production like this.

“There was additional pressure as the programme was screened live on the internet, but I loved every minute of it.”

The event, a collaboration between Havering Council and the college, saw gay marriage, university fees, faith schools and immigration discussed.

The panellists were Leyton and Wanstead MP John Cryer, Pavan Dhaliwal, head of public affairs at the British Humanist Association, London Assembly deputy chairman Roger Evans, the member for Havering and Redbridge, and Stephanie Vogelzang, an executive committee member of Republicans Abroad.

Cllr Michael White, the council’s leader, said: “Events like Havering Asks are a fantastic way to generate debate on key national and international issues that we should all be concerned with and help young people get involved and interested in the big stories of our time.”

Andy Popperwell, the college’s curriculum manager for media, added: “Havering Asks was once again a wonderful opportunity to combine a lively debate for young people with a huge television production.”

A DVD of Havering Asks, edited by the media students, will be sent to secondary schools.

The event was first held in 2012.

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