Q. What does your job involve?
A. The day-to-day job is really varied and is one of the exciting elements of working in policy. My role is to build effective working relationships with a wide range of key external contacts, including Government Ministers and Opposition Shadow Ministers; MPs and Peers; and with voluntary sector partners. Alongside the rest of the team I monitor all relevant government and opposition policy announcements and produce analysis, briefings and draft responses on them where appropriate.
I have responsibility for YMCA England’s Parliamentary Patron programme and also the running of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Youth Affairs – which are a series of meetings in Parliament between young people and politicians.
Q. Why did you choose to work for YMCA?
A. I chose to work for YMCA because it was a charity that was close to my own heart. My background was volunteering with young people and lobbying on their behalf so the chance to work in this role for a youth charity seemed like a perfect fit. The challenge of working to support young people but across many different policy areas also interested me but most of all it was trying to raise the profile of the charity. YMCAs do amazing work and I like the underdog spirit of our organisation – I wanted the chance to improve the knowledge decision makers in Parliament had about the YMCA to hopefully improve the lives further of the young people we support.
Q. What’s been your most memorable moment so far?
A. There have been many fantastic moments over my three years with YMCA and launching the Manifesto in March – after spending a year working on it – has to be one of them. However I think it would be whenever I get to take one of our residents into Parliament. Their excitement and nervousness is always great to see and every time I make the trip to Westminster at least one young person will say “I don’t feel like I belong here” – this is exactly the impression we want to change through these projects – and who knows maybe one of the young people who comes into Parliament with us will one day be coming back as an MP.
Q. What would your dream project be?
A. My dream project would be to run an apprenticeship programme for YMCA England. YMCAs do a huge amount across the country delivering apprenticeships and I would love to see our office full of them as well. I believe that we could give young people an opportunity to be an apprentice in every team here and it would improve our way of working whilst also giving young people the chance to enhance their own skills.