Chair and Cabinet Members 2019/2020

Anna McGovern MYP

Chair and Overview & Scrutiny Member

The Chair is responsible for the strategic leadership of the organisation, overseeing the day to day running of the Medway Youth Council. The Chair is a member of the Children and Young People’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee, and chairs all meetings conducted at MYC, including Full Council and Cabinet meetings.

Anna McGovern is a National Ambassador for various charities across the UK, including the NSPCC, Childline, and the #iwill campaign. She is the Prime Minister’s 1050th Point of Light for services to volunteering, and she is the holder of the UK Childhood Champion Award for Outstanding Young Volunteer of the Year in London and the South East. Anna attends Rochester Independent College and is currently in her final year of A Levels, studying English Literature, Sociology, and History, with aspirations to work in the Civil Service.

Christina Arena


The Vice-Chair supports the Chair in the running of the organisation, being responsible for member relations, co-ordination and public outreach. The Vice-Chair leads on membership recruitment and partnerships with organisation across Medway.

Christina Arena is 17 years old and is currently in her final year of A Levels at Rainham Mark Grammar School, studying Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. She enjoys art and sight seeing, and is particularly fond of reading and watching Harry Potter. Christina is in her third and final year of the council and is excited to contribute more to the community.

Ahsan Iftikhar

Campaign Lead

The Campaign Lead is responsible for our chosen campaign, taking a lead role in our Annual Conference. This role is also responsible for approving and presenting sub-campaigns to the cabinet. The Campaign Lead supports other members who are conducting campaigns, ensuring that they are well prepared for effective campaigning.

A student at Rainham Mark Grammar School, Ahsan is interested in a range of activities; from participating in meetings that focus on improving the quality of young people’s lives in Medway, to sports such as swimming. He works hard for his ambitions and will work harder to help out in any way he can.

Bailey O’Brien

Democracy & Engagement Lead

This member is responsible for ensuring we have representation from all groups of young people, and that they push engagement within Medway Youth Centres and other youth organisations. The role also entails ensuring our organisation is meeting its requirement to be democratic; this ranges from ensuring our constitution is democratic to supporting the cabinet with evidence-based consultation from young people.

Bailey is in her first year of A Levels at Rainham School For Girls, studying Criminology, Finance and Drama. She is passionate about Drama in particular and has performed in a wide range of shows, such as Annie and Romeo & Juliet. Bailey has been an active member of the council for X years and has participated in a number of different events, including the Medway Youth Awards 2019.

Arina Stelmokaite

Marketing Lead

This member is responsible for promoting MYC through social media. Marketing Lead reports the analytics to the cabinet and updates them on other member activities, ensuring that the code of conduct is met.

Arina has been a member of the Medway Youth Council for over six months, being involved in a wide range of events such as the Medway Youth Awards in 2019. She is a Corporal in the Army Cadet Force and regularly volunteers with the 21st Strood Cubs. She is in Year 11 and currently attends Rochester Grammar School, where she is studying for her GCSE examinations.

Archie Bean

Digital Engagement Director

This member is responsible for managing new platforms to reach out to the young people in Medway and ensure they are included in our organisation. This role administrates the Discord server and other platforms.

Archie attends Holcombe Grammar School, where he is an active member of the debating society and has been for three years. He is a season ticket holder for Gillingham Football Club and attends all of their home games. He is also a trained football referee and enjoys referring local Under 10s games.

Esme Hehir

Health Engagement Lead

This member is responsible for all issues in relation to health, and young people who are affected by this. This role is responsible for our work with Medway NHS Foundation Trust NELFT, Healthwatch, community health groups and any other groups associated with health. They are a spokesperson for young people health issues, consultation and focus groups, and they run their own campaign tackling a health issue for young people in the community.

Esme is 17 years old and is in her final year of A Levels at Rochester Grammar School. studying Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics. She has been involved in the Medway Youth Council for a year, contributing her time towards a vast variety of events benefitting the community. She directed a play for Medway Little Theatre in which she won second overall for the ‘Best Play’ award, and she was also recognised with the ‘Best Stage Crew’ award.

Oliver Branch MYP

Member of UK Youth Parliament

This member is responsible for representing the young people of Medway on a national scale. They are elected by the young people in the community, tackling the issues they care about in accordance to the Make Your Mark campaign findings. This role would be responsible in running their own campaign, attending conventions hosted by the British Youth Council, and they have the opportunity to attend Parliament to debate specific motions.

Oli attends Rochester Math School and is a Member of UK Youth Parliament for Medway. Oli previously held a cabinet position as Campaign Lead and organised the conference of 2017 which focused on the topic of Bullying. He has attended British Youth Council conventions and has much experience in representing and working on issues facing young people.

The Medway Youth Council is currently in the process of recruiting new members in Year 7-13. The Medway Youth Council (MYC) started in 1998, as the Medway Youth Parliament, with our official launch in 1999. In September 2017, we changed our name to the Medway Youth Council, under the leadership of George Perfect.

We are a forum for young people – run by young people – we are totally independent but supported by Medway Council. MYC has two main roles in addressing issues raised by young people and acting as a consultative group for decision-makers.

Young people who join Medway Youth Council benefit from the following:

  • Working and meeting with a team of diverse young people from across the Medway towns on campaigns for young people
  • Bringing change for young people
  • Representing the Youth Voice of the conurbation
  • Being a positive role model in the community

If you are interested in joining the council, or think you may know a young person who would be interested in joining, please contact us.