Oldham's Youth Mayor is country's youngest recipient of a New Year Honour

Date published: 31 December 2020

Oldham's Youth Mayor, Samah Khalil, has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Year's Honours list.

Samah, 20, is the youngest recipient of an honour this year, and said she felt "honoured and humbled" by the recognition.

She told the Chronicle: "It doesn't feel real, and I don't know what I've done to deserve this. My mum jumped up and down with joy when she heard, and my dad says he is just so proud.

"Being Youth Mayor was, for me, about trying to give other young people opportunities and show them what we can do.

"I'll spend the rest of my life ensuring young people have access to opportunities and the chance to have their voices heard; especially those who need it the most."

Samah attended North Chadderton School and sixth form, and is currently taking a year out from her degree in biomedical sciences at the University of Sheffield.

She was elected to Oldham Youth Council in 2016 and has also represented Oldham as a Member of Youth Parliament (MYP).

As MYP, in November 2018 she delivered a speech from the dispatch box in Parliament to clebrate 100 years since some women first achieved the right to vote.

Councillor Sean Fielding, Leader of Oldham Council, said: "This is an incredible achievement and a very well-deserved accolade for Samah.

"I've always been impressed by her commitment to empowering young people and doing all she can to encourage people from all backgrounds to fulfil their ambitions.

"As Youth Mayor and as MYP, Samah has been a fantastic ambassador for Oldham and Greater Manchester, and it's great to see her getting this recognition at the highest possible level."

Do you have a story for us? Want to tell us about something going on in and around Oldham? Let us know by emailing news@oldham-chronicle.co.uk , calling our Oldham-based newsroom on 0161 633 2121 , tweeting us @oldhamchronicle or messaging us through our Facebook page. All contact will be treated in confidence.

While you are here...

...we have a small favour to ask; would you support Oldham Chronicle and join other residents making a contribution, from just £3 per month?

Oldham Chronicle offers completely independent local journalism with free access. If you enjoy the independent news and other free services we offer, please consider supporting us financially and help Oldham Chronicle to continue to provide local engaging content for years to come. Thank you.

Support Oldham Chronicle