In February I attended a selection day with Cheshire West and Chester’s Youth Senate. Through that I got selected for DMYP (Deputy Member of Youth Parliament) Then in April I attended a Youthforia weekend. This weekend was for young people from all over the North West that wanted to have a voice and a say in what was going on in their lives. The residential was amazing and I met so many great like-minded young people.
Already the Cheshire West and Chester’s Youth Senate is working on a campaign surrounding the stigma around mental health. As this was an issue that so many young people cared about especially stopping the stigma surrounding metal health and how to have a healthy mental wellbeing. I will continue working with Youth Parliament providing young people with a voice. Making real change in England, not leaving all up to the government but making sure the future generation of prime ministers, firefighters and nurses get a say.
Not only has Youth Parliament offered me so much but also it has opened so many doors and made so many opportunities possible. Recently after sending off a lengthy application form and a nerve racking phone interview I was one of 10 young people across the whole of England to be selected to be on the PLAN UK Youth Advisory Panel. So what is PLAN? PLAN is an international charity that transforms the lives of marginalised children, especially adolescent girls, through their programmes and work internationally.
PLAN demands justice with and for the world’s poorest children. They work with schools across the world to make sure that children, especially girls get the education that they deserve and are prevented from having that education. With YAP we stand shoulder to shoulder with PLAN, determined to reach every child, every girl can get a safe education and prevent them from being exploited by adults or even teachers.
I am also excited to announce that I have been selected along with 12 other girls in the North West to go to Armenia to complete charity work over there this July. This has been a big challenge for me as I had to raise £1180 and still have a bit left to go but am thoroughly excited to be able to make a difference. We will be working with young people carrying on current projects that are set up there, ensuring that the young people and children reach their full potential.
What is even more exciting is that I will also be going to The Gambia in April 2017 to complete charity work over there. Working with young people in schools and youth groups teaching things we take for granted like how to treat a cut, or keep healthy and even how to have fun. In order to do this I am required to raise almost £2000. So of course any help is much appreciated! Jessica Leigh