May 20 2013 Latest news:
by Alistair Kleebauer, Senior reporter
Friday, March 15, 2013
Meet Redbridge’s latest member of the Youth Parliament and her deputy, who hope to improve road safety, access to leisure services and work opportunities for young people.
Beatrice Leong, a 16-year-old pupil at Woodford County High School for Girls in High Road, Woodford Green, was elected to the national body last week, with more than 10,000 young people in the borough casting ballots.
Despite the stereotypes about disengagement with the political process, nearly a third of Redbridge 11 to 19-year-olds took part, also electing David Lester from Woodbridge High School in St Barnabas Road, Woodford Green.
Beatrice came up with three pledges which she will now try to fulfil, including raising awareness of road safety after a friend of hers was hit by a car crossing High Road, Woodford Green.
She said: “I have a few friends that have been run over by cars. I don’t want to see that happening to young people. With information and publicity, we can help people to stay safe.”
The pupil will be helped by schoolmate Sabah Mohammed, 13, and both will work with Redbridge councillors and the Redbridge Youth Council on their policies.
Sabah said: “It’s to support each other through whatever we do.”
The Woodford County pair also want to help teenagers thinking of taking their first steps into the workplace.
Beatrice said: “Whether its paid work experience or voluntary, because I’m in Year 12, I think work experience is valuable for students.
“It’s something that’s practical and it’s something we need to pick up.”
Their third pledge is to promote leisure opportunities. They plan to produce a school newsletter to sit alongside Redbridge Council’s Do More guide to publicise specific activities.
Alongside the hard work ahead, Beatrice will also have the honour of speaking as a MYP in an annual debate in the House of Commons, when the youngsters take over the floor usually reserved for their adult counterparts.
She hopes to use the experience she gains to follow a career in law.