STOKE NEWINGTON councillor Mete Coban is receiving congratulations for being awarded an MBE in the New Years Honours List for services to young people.

He says: “I’m incredibly humbled to receive an MBE in the New Years Honours list. I’m proud of my team’s work this year, and thankful to everyone for their support over the years.”

Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney said:

“It is brilliant to hear that Cllr Mete Coban has received an MBE for his work as Founder and Chief Executive of My Life My Say organisation for services to young people, mylifemysay.org.uk aiming to further involve them in politics and ensure they are heard.

He has proved an excellent role model for young people – and was in 2014 the borough’s youngest ever elected councillor, aged just 21.

The Labour Party has long campaigned for young people get the vote from 16 and to have a greater role in the political process – which will be shaping the future for them so they should have a direct say in their futures.

In November we were also pleased that, earlier this year, he received the Local Government Information Unit’s Councillor of the Year award for the Finance & Economic Development category.

So well-deserved recognition for someone who has already done so much for his generation and continues to give voice to young people not just in Hackney, but everywhere he works.”

Mete told the Gazette: “This is such an amazing honour, and a wonderful surprise – one that I would never have expected, especially at my age.

“I’m proud of everything that we’ve achieved with My Life My Say and thank everyone for their support over the years. I often felt powerless, neglected and unheard growing up on a council estate in Hackney, and I founded it to give young people the confidence to stand up and be counted when important decisions are being made our futures.”

When the Gazette spoke with him, he hadn’t even told his parents that he’d received the honour through the post a few days before.

“I’m hoping to surprise them with it,” he said. “I’ll sit with them and inform them myself once it’s about to be made public. To me it’s a special moment. My parents come from northern Cyprus and we faced a lot of challenges. We had countless notes to be deported back to Cyprus. I used to have separation anxiety and be worried that border control would come to my house and take my parents away when I was at school. Twenty years later to go on to be honoured I think they will be extremely proud.”

He hopes to inspire other young people in Hackney through the MBE.

“My father’s a cab driver and my mum cares for the elderly,” he said. “We are an ordinary family.

“The bit that excites me most is what role this will play for Hackney. When I win, Hackney wins, and what I mean by that is that ultimately the stereotype of young people isn’t great generally – but from Hackney let’s be honest, growing up there were never any good news stories about my generation. It’s a win for all of us and shows we all have talent and we all have a role to play in shaping society.”

Also reported elsewhere:

Hackney Cllr Mete Coban awarded MBE

https://inews.co.uk/news/uk/new-year-honours-list-young-activists-charity-work-hope-1350740

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/dec/27/grassroots-heroes-from-fundraisers-to-fosterers-get-new-year-honours

http://www.t-vine.com/mete-coban-and-hatice-hasan-awarded-mbes-in-new-year-honours-list/

Meta has also won University of Greenwich Alumni of the Year 2019:

Mete Coban wins Alumni of the Year Award 2019

 

 

 

 

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