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Redbridge Youth Council: Incoming and outgoing MYPs share what the experience means to them

PUBLISHED: 12:00 18 March 2017

Redbridge's cabinet member for children and young people Elaine Norman with new deputy MYP George Thompson and new MYPs Magiesha Maheswaran and Tasnia Chowdhury. Picture: Redbridge Council

Redbridge's cabinet member for children and young people Elaine Norman with new deputy MYP George Thompson and new MYPs Magiesha Maheswaran and Tasnia Chowdhury. Picture: Redbridge Council

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Redbridge Youth Council has long given children and teenagers the chance to make a difference in their communities. With the latest Youth Parliament election over, old and new MYPs share their views.

New Member of Youth Parliament (MYP) for Redbridge, Tasnia Chowdhury. Picture: Redbridge CouncilNew Member of Youth Parliament (MYP) for Redbridge, Tasnia Chowdhury. Picture: Redbridge Council

Tasnia Chowdhury – new MYP (Member of Youth Parliament)

I have always had a passion for politics and when Bruna announced the youth election was taking place I saw it as an opportunity to make my voice heard and focus on certain aspects of Redbridge I felt I could impact for the better.

I found the whole process really amazing and I learned so much and gained many skills. Even if I didn’t win I wouldn’t have traded the experience for anything.

I was not expecting to win and when I heard my name I felt so overwhelmed and just so thankful.

New Deputy Member of Youth Parliament (MYP) for Redbridge, Magiesha Maheswaran. Picture: Redbridge CouncilNew Deputy Member of Youth Parliament (MYP) for Redbridge, Magiesha Maheswaran. Picture: Redbridge Council

My priorities are definitely focusing on my bullet points, getting more schools to teach first aid to their students and raising awareness of body-shaming and the impact it causes to people’s self-esteem. However, religious discrimination is definitely one of the ones that needs more focus as it is a serious issue and should be addressed.

Magiesha Maheswaran – new MYP

Being a member of the Redbridge Youth Council has been an insightful and very enjoyable experience. I found the council was an amazing platform for me to voice the issues that young people like myself face, while also educating myself on other important matters in my local area. I also understood that, if I wanted to have an even more active role in addressing these issues, the role of Redbridge MYP was the best possible opportunity.

[Upon winning] I was in absolute disbelief! I cannot thank everyone enough for this amazing opportunity!

New Deputy Member of Youth Parliament (MYP) for Redbridge, George Thompson. Picture: Redbridge CouncilNew Deputy Member of Youth Parliament (MYP) for Redbridge, George Thompson. Picture: Redbridge Council

I am definitely hoping to carry out my manifesto points: my point aimed at our area specifically is to encourage businesses to develop closer links with schools so we can have more work experience opportunities, and be more aware of existing programmes on offer. My other point is the need to implement a curriculum in schools to prepare students for their adult lives. I will also raise awareness on the top Make Your Mark issue – racism and religious discrimination, an important issue to address all over the world. I believe we would be taking a step in the right direction by tackling this in our local area.

George Thompson, new deputy MYP

I have been a member of Redbridge Youth Council for little over a year and I have seen how much can be accomplished when young people work collectively. I wish to strive to fight for what I believe in and believed I could do this by running.

I was under the impression I had lost, so it was a wonderful surprise when Cllr Elaine Norman read out that I was to be deputy MYP for the year! I was ecstatic and went home thinking about the possibilities for the year.

Bruna Franco and Amishta Aubeelack, outgoing MYPs for Redbridge. Picture: Redbridge CouncilBruna Franco and Amishta Aubeelack, outgoing MYPs for Redbridge. Picture: Redbridge Council

My priority is to tackle both my manifesto points to the greatest of my ability by working with people such as Wes Streeting MP, amongst other people/organisations, to approach the issue of discrimination towards the LGBT community. I also aim to work with TfL to make sure transport is consistently reliable. I think the topic I’m most concerned about is that of how we need to make sure that all LGBT young people are accepted by their peers and others, as intolerance simply shouldn’t be accepted.

Amishta Aubeelack – outgoing MYP

Giving up being a Member of Youth Parliament is emotional because you have invested so much of yourself into your youth council and your campaigns, but handing it over only means it allows there to be a joint team effort. Every year three new people with their own way of tackling their term get elected and it’s interesting to see this unfold.

I am particularly proud of coming first regionally and nationally in the annual Make Your Mark campaign. The amount of teamwork and commitment employed during this period was indescribable. Coming out first was the cherry on the cake, we definitely deserved it as we pushed for votes in nearly 25 schools.

Redbridge Town Hall. Picture: Redbridge CouncilRedbridge Town Hall. Picture: Redbridge Council

[Advice for the new MYPs] to not be scared to undergo each task with your own personal leadership style. Moreover, I would advise them to be confident in their manifesto points and personal abilities because they have come so far as a result of being their passionate selves.

Bruna Franco – outgoing MYP

I can’t say I was eager to “give up my crown” because it really has been a truly fantastic year, but I am proud of the two new MYPs and their deputy and I’m sure they’ll do a great job. I’m really forward to working with them, especially because their manifestos are different to the ones we had and so it should be interesting.

[Best achievement] speaking at the Annual Sitting, where I proposed the motion to put raising awareness of sexual harassment (particularly “low-level”) in schools on the manifesto, something I’m particularly passionate about. Not only did it pass, but it also was deemed important enough to be voted onto the Make Your Mark ballot paper.

[Advice for the new MYPs] to remember that they can’t do everything, and it is not a testament to their abilities if they can’t do all they wanted because of time constraints or lack of resources. Even just beginning to achieve one of these was a step in the right direction.

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