Thursday, 7 February 2013

Local councillor shadowing by young people #rdg

I was lucky enough to participate, with Councillor Ennis, in the trial of local councillor shadowing (by young people) this year.

First off I had to get a CRB check done. I was surprised at how quickly it was turned around once I had completed the form – from memory a few days.

Next I had an initial meeting with youth workers and young people. It was interesting hearing the diverse interests of the young people and this helped us decide what to do.

The young people shadowed me and participated in doorknocking reviewing a local transport scheme, full Council (asking a question on youth services) and a Council run conference on young people and unemployment. They did about 10 hours in total each.

I recently signed off one of the handbooks, and was pleased to see that the young person had enjoyed the experience, learnt a bit about what councillors do and develop her skills.

For me, young people are always a struggle to engage with. When you knock on a door, you inevitably end up talking to the adults, parents being more experienced and understanding the role of councillors tend to be the ones who get in contact etc. So for me it was really useful finding out a bit more about the interests of young people and how I can be effectively represent them.

I hope the Council decides to run this scheme again next year...

If you are a young person reading this – or an older person with a good idea – please let me know what you would like to see me working on or how I can better engage with young people.

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