One Day with Charlotte Snell – Member of Youth Parliament
The alarm goes off at 8am. I sit up, open the curtains and thank God for the day ahead. Today I have a busy day with the Norfolk Youth Parliament as I will be meeting with my local MP, Chloe Smith, attending the Shelf Help Launch and a meeting about the Make Your Mark Ballot.
I was elected as an MYP (Member of Youth Parliament) in March 2016. I hadn’t expected to get elected, however it has led to me thinking more about going into politics in the future – something I feel strongly called to do. I think it’s extremely important to do the best for other people; for me that’s representing the views of young people in Norwich North.
I meet Chloe in the Forum at 10am. It’s the first time we’ve met and we discuss how she might be able to help me with my role, for example getting me in contact with other people, and she gives me some handy tips.
After lunch it is off to the library to attend the launch of a scheme called Shelf Help. It’s a selection of non-fiction and fiction books for teenagers that have topics concerning mental health and wellbeing ranging from stress to mental health illnesses to bullying: all the sorts of problems teenagers face. The launch is a success as we have young people come as well as adults from schools and Norfolk County Council. Shelf Help ties in well with our Mental Health Campaign to promote positive mental health and inform young people.
Then it’s time for an afternoon-break and a chance to reflect on the day so far. I think about how great an experience this has been and what it means to me as a Christian. I particularly agree with the words of Isaiah 58:6,
“Free those who are wrongly imprisoned, lighten the burden of those who work for you, Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people”.
While I am only 16, I cannot make a massive impact in government, however I can do my bit. I feel that by being in the Youth Parliament and representing the worries and concerns of my friends and peers, I am ‘doing my bit’ to the best of my ability.
After my break I go to a meeting with my fellow MYPs. There are nine of us in total and we represent the nine constituencies of Norfolk. We are meeting to share the results of the Make Your Mark Ballot. This is a vote by young people to decide what the UK Youth Parliament will campaign on over the coming year. The top three topics for Norfolk are: ‘Curriculum to Prepare Us for Life’; ‘Mental Health’ and ‘Stop Cuts that affect the NHS’.
I end the day with a prayer of thanks that I can make a difference.
If you’d like to get in contact with me, my email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more about the UK Youth Parliament: www.ukyouthparliament.org.uk
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