A budding student from Lewisham has called for more people to listen to youngsters when it comes to solving the UK’s housing crisis.

Zainab Agboola, 13, from Grove Park, wants adults to “take young people more seriously” when looking for solutions to social issues.

“One day, the world will be in our hands. Give us the opportunity to help solve the problems our communities are facing,” the bright schoolgirl said.

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Zainab was presented with her certificate by Jim Strang, president of the Chartered Institute for Housing

Zainab has become the youngest person ever to receive a qualification on social housing after taking part in a summer course on the subject over the summer.

The course, run by the Phoenix Academy and Phoenix Housing, aims to teach social housing tenants about how housing providers are run, from finance to sustainability.

Zainab was inspired to take the course after her mum Fola also completed it.

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Zainab and her mother, Fola

She said: “I took part in the Academy because I wanted to help some of the most vulnerable people, to help them secure suitable accommodation and help them improve their lives.

“And the Academy gave me a really good head-start to a career in housing one day.

“Because when the day is over and night comes, everyone needs somewhere to go – and I want to help them.”

The Phoenix Academy was set up in 2014 with the aim of encouraging its social housing tenants to get involved in the association.

Anne McGurk, tenant and chair of Phoenix Community Housing congratulated Zainab on becoming the youngest person to receive the qualification.

She described the pupil as “a teenage reminder that children and young people are co-creators of the future.

“Let’s make sure we listen to them and involve them in building tomorrow’s world. A world fit for all to enjoy.”

The Phoenix Academy runs out of The Green Man Community Hub on Bromley Road, Lewisham.