A Waltham Forest teenager has been inspired to start his own charity tackling homelessness after representing the UK at the United Nations Youth Assembly.

Zain Hussain, 17, was among delegates from around the world to travel to UN headquarters in New York last month to take part in for conferences with representatives from organisations such as UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank.

Alongside delegates from 193 countries, the Norlington School student heard how these top corporations were supporting the 17 goals of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

They also heard from UN President Miroslav Lajcak other UN representatives who talked about the importance of youth in bringing positive global change.

Zain said the experience had given him the motivation to work on solving homelessness by starting his own charity in London and sustainable development worldwide.

“Before I went to the UN I thought starting a charity is something that I would do in the later future but this trip has completely changed my mind,” he said.

“Being of young age is an advantage – not a limitation.’

“They have inspired me and convinced me that there is no time like the present when it comes to trying to bring about a change in society.

“They showed me that positive change is achieved through collaboration. I have also learned a lot about how these highly influential organisations operate.’

“Homelessness is a big issue in across London and I really want to do something that makes a positive difference to the people who are affected.”

Zain was one of just five delegates selected from the UK for the UN Youth Assembly after impressing with knowledge of sustainable development in a series of interviews.