Political To The Core: The Story Of Andy
For me, I’ve been in youth politics for now 11 years and being part of the Southend Youth Council hasn’t been the first kind of youth politics that I’ve done in my life. If anything, its part of a large list of commitments I have been part of over the last 10 years.
I start my story off in Year 1 at West Leigh Infant School, for 2 weeks (as that was the policy at the time), I was part of the school council and I vaguely recall it being for around half hour at the end of the school day.
Skip forward to Year 5 and I was in a new class following the A stream and B stream changes that had occurred at the end of Year 4. I went for a 1 year term as my class representative in the school council. I promised to my class that I would get a school newspaper set up. However, half way through and my behaviour took a turn for the worse so I got taken off it for 3 weeks. I got reinstalled into it following a turn in good fortunes for me.
Mind you, I was the only person on the school council who wanted to bring back ties as I found them to be smarter and it help trains us for when we leave primary school for secondary school. As good as that idea was, it got rejected.
Following a disastrous 18 months at Belfairs Academy for me, I went and applied to be part of the Belfairs Student Voice Community Stream and be an Ambassador. Funnily enough, I made that election my own and I won by quite a landslide.
In the middle of this, I actually contacted my local MP David Amess for tips and advice on how to win the election. He helped me quite a lot and that was initially the start for me to go into politics.
I also recall being praised by Belfairs for my willingness to go out of my own way to seek advice from Mr Amess.
I was an Ambassador for over 1 year which was followed by a 2nd year in office but that being as Deputy of the Community Stream. The 2nd year, I found personally speaking was the hardest to do anything with as the meetings were not often like I had wanted it to be due to lack of members who were interested in it.
As if things couldn’t get any worse, in the summer of 2015, I got stripped of my role as Deputy due to my behaviour once again taking a massive turn for the worse. I also would like to mention that apparently by the Vice-Principal at the time, I wasn’t doing the “Community proud” when I’d like to point out that was I considering I had spent a lot of time volunteering my time at Canvey Island FC which was taking a lot of time from my weekends. I finished Year 10 like I had done in Year 9 which was myself having fallen from grace once again and I was in the ruins of my inferno.
Skip forward to October 2015, and I finally attended my first Southend Youth Council meeting after I was originally meant to in both July and September. Over the next few months, I built my reputation up and eventually, I went up for election to be Southend Youth Mayor in February 2016. I finished 3rd out of 3rd and it summed up a terrible 48 hours for me. Don’t get me wrong, I am still annoyed to this day as to how I lost that election because I thought I was odds on to win it and my idea was the most practical to make an impact technically speaking but that wasn’t the case.
A month later saw me standing to be UK Youth Parliament representative and once again, I lost that election. I was seriously starting to reconsider my membership as to whether I should look elsewhere but I felt this bad spell of elections will soon go and it did.
In May 2016, I finally won my first election in the Youth Council as I became Debates Manager where so far, I’ve had a successful time in that role.
I’ve also enjoyed my trips to London with my Youth Councillors where I’ve gone to Westminster to take part in Youth APPG meetings and as I’ll explain further in a moment, I am the only member from Southend Youth Council that is now on the Young Essex Assembly.
Young Essex Assembly
Following my landslide win in the Student Voice, I was keen to get properly into politics and I did that by contacting the Southend West Conservatives who helped me get on board with the Conservative Future. I was also trying to find a way to get into the UK Youth Parliament which then led me towards the Young Essex Assembly in 2014.
I became part of the YEA in February 2014 as an ineligible member because I didn’t live, work or go to school in Castle Point. Mind you, I was still an active member for the months I was in it for.
However, as I was starting out my adventure with Canvey Island FC, the YEA came 2nd in my list of priorities and my final meeting was in September 2014 which was then met with my resignation in December 2014.
Jump forward to the latest chapter. Its September 2016 and I was now starting at Seevic College following a transfer from Southend United CET. I was just starting out in my new course when I realised I could finally apply to join the YEA so after a few days, I contacted the people in charge and then within October, I was preparing myself to be part of an election in Castle Point where I needed to get people to vote for me.
So, the election was in late November and I managed to get my friends to vote for me. I was really grateful for their votes as I found out in December when after bricking it for a few weeks, I won a spot to represent Castle Point and more specifically the town of Canvey Island and Seevic College.
At first, I was emotionally touched by it as it sparked a sense of goodness following a tough year of losing elections in the SYC but it also sparked the proper beginning of my chance of making it in politics.
I then realised that I now have a duty to fulfil in Castle Point since it feels like my adopted county after over 2 years of being a regular visitor to Canvey Island.
I start my term of office officially on Saturday 21st January 2017 and to date, I am the only member from Southend Youth Council that is also part of the Young Essex Assembly and as the constitution goes, I am free to be part of them both.
To conclude, I hope you enjoyed this blog about my political history and I hope it inspires you all to do great stuff in the world we live in!
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