By Lewis Pull, Co-op Young Members Group 

This year marks the 20th anniversary of 10-year-old Damilola Taylor’s tragic murder. A boy who, just one week before he died, wrote of his hope to save the world.

Hope 2020 is a campaign created by the Damilola Taylor Trust designed to shine a light on the positive contribution young people make in society and commemorate the kind of person Damilola was becoming.  

A collaborative effort driven by a group of businesses and charities called the Hope Collective, the campaign will share inspiring stories from young people across social media and online, before culminating in a National Day of Hope on what would’ve been Damilola’s 31st birthday, Monday 7 December.  

Championing young voices  

Earlier this year, Co-op teamed up with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, a fellow Hope Collective member, on a Youth Voices programme.  Young people have created a series of short films about ‘hope’, which are set to be debuted in the week leading up to the National Day of Hope.   

Running since August, the programme gave young people access to a series of online wellbeing and creative media workshops led by inspirational speakers like Ben Hurst of the Good Lad Initiative, promoting positive masculinity; climate activist Tori Tsui and anti-racism advocate Sophie Williams.  

We used our Community Wellbeing Index to identify the areas offering young people the least support, approaching potential candidates through our Member Pioneers based across UK villages, towns and cities. 

Fair access to education and employment  

Young people face their biggest crisis in a generation.  One million under 25s face unemployment by the end of the year and, just one month after the UK went into its first lockdown, the number of 18-24 year olds claiming unemployment related benefits increased by 59%.  

Young people need access to opportunities now more than ever. We’re committed to co-operating for a fairer world, that’s why we’re supporting the Hope 2020 campaign and are using the extra money from members to give fairer access to education and employment for young people, in the communities that need it most.   

Show your support 

My hope is for a future filled with opportunities that are accessible to everyone. I don’t believe that socio-economic background, race, gender or disability should limit your access to opportunities in either education or employment.  

Please show your support for the campaign by:  

  • reading stories of hope from young people on the Hope 2020 website or by following #ShareYourHope on social media, to better understand what they care about and how you can help  
  • visiting eventbrite and signing up to attend an event run by the young people in the Hope Collective 

And if you’re a colleague under 25, you can also: 

  • share your own stories of hope on social media using #ShareYourHope using content from Social Hub