By Serena Lola
On the 29th of August 2017: The Heston West Big Local Youth Action Team went to the UK Parliament to present their campaign idea to make politics more accessible to the younger demographic as well as implementing life skill courses/classes for youth in order to give them a kick-start in life so that they are ready for everyday problems they will face in the future. We believe this is very important and it was said by Mariam Quraishi that life skills/ politics are important “because we gain transferable skills we can use as well as opening up opportunities for ourselves.
The day started off with us meeting Seema Malhotra, the MP of Feltham and Heston and then being led into Parliament and to the café where we enjoyed some delicious food. After Seema then gave us a tour of Parliament as well telling us about some of the history of the place such as Spencer Perceval was assassinated in the House Of Commons and ancestors of him as well as from the murder are members of parliament to this day which I found pretty interesting as well as astonishing. Furthermore the Parliament building itself was really beautiful just like the outside of the building and I especially thought that the centre of the houses was amazing due to its stunning detail and astounding design.
Following that we were taken into a conference room where the select committee usually have their proceedings and to be in there was a huge privilege and an even bigger one was to sit in their seats while doing our presentation. We were joined also by Rupa Huq (MP of Ealing Central and Acton) we then proceeded to present our campaign which is all about getting the younger generation more involved in politics so they can gain a wider understanding along with leaning valuable life skills for the future which can help them not only once they’ve left school but also whilst in it. Moreover we not only want to engage the younger generation but the older generation as well because we feel that we can help build a stronger community through bridging the generation gap but also by doing this the older generation also stand to gain as they can have the correct information to help them decide when voting as most of the time they are influenced by what the media tells us as opposed to thinking for themselves.
Once we had concluded our presentation Seema and Rupa asked us questions to get a deeper understanding of what we were trying to do and after we were happy to hear that they would be happy to help us with the campaign and helping us to run things, so overall this trip was a success! Feeling pretty proud of inspirational day, and ourselves we took some photos in the conference room and left having had a fun day, which is the beginning of us doing something great for our community.
Anjali Parmar (age 13) said: “ Today was a really fun day” and she thinks “that more people should get involved with organisations like the Heston West Big Local as it helps to build confidence as well as getting to meet new people and having fun whilst making a change to our community in order to make It a happier and healthier place to live”
This highlights our message we want to push across as we want to inspire others to get involved and help make a difference.
I can also see that the other volunteers can see that we will make a difference as Rajan Sandhu said: “Today was really useful and motivating as it not only expanded his communication skills but it was also and bonding event for the team”
He then went on to add “that it is important for children to know about politics so they know that they have a voice that they can use to make a difference in the world”
Overall, today was a fantastic and once in a lifetime experience, which we as young volunteers are extremely proud of and hope we may be able, to do something like this again as we love to help people and make our community a better place. Now that we have done this we feel we can really make a change and we cannot wait to start work on our campaign and inspire more people to get involved.
The presentation was delivered by Anjali Parmar, Sharanjit Kaur, Serena Lola, Rajan Sandhu, Amadeus Lang, Saim, Mariam Quraishi and Mustapha.
We were also supported by our Youth Action Members: Iman Jaura , Subhan Jaura , Anjali Kumar, Caitlin Poon, Huzayma Khamis, Abbie McFerran, Rhys Jones, Cammeron Jones, Callum Willis, Amrita Tar, Megha Dahdrai, Ayushi, Harveer and Harpreet Kaur.
By MADE in HESTON WEST
Be inspired! Part 4/5 in our series of Big Local Community Heroes.
For our forth week, we interview Amar Riya on her amazing journey as an international volunteer and on the importance of getting involved with local community volunteering.
Interviewed by Serena Lola.
Filmed and edited by our talented young participants involved with our MADE in HESTON WEST Film-making Project.
By Neha Soni
The Family Fun Picnic event took place on the 12th August at the Brabazon Centre and attracted over 180+ attendees. The event was planned a week in advance by Big Local Heston West and NCS The Challenge.
The event had many different activities taking place; Arts and crafts (provided by Feltham arts), face painting, free food, magic shows, football, a dance performance and a drum performance. Volunteers also interacted with community members and collected surveys to find out more about how attendees heard of Big Local Heston West and their views on politics. The survey revealed that attendees liked the Big Local initiative as it brings communities together in a fun and safe environment.
The NCS team helped deliver the football match and kindly donated resources for our walking football and PAN disability football sessions. Amadeus, a Big Local volunteer, enjoyed the magic show, adding “The magician did really cool tricks; especially the water cup trick where she spilt water… but it was still in the cup afterwards!” Rajan enjoyed the dance performance, saying Sharan and Layba were “really talented and brave.”
We would like to thank Sharan and Layba for their dance performance, Kapil for his drum performance, Feltham Arts for their arts and craft stall.
By Nadia Patel
Week 3: Tuesday 8th August 2017
The main focus of today’s session was to develop a survey to gather the opinions of local residents in relation to our campaign: Politics and Courses.
We started off the morning by going through the details for Saturday’s event. We discussed what the plan of action would be in the event that the weather does not go as planned so that we are prepared.
The team then moved on to discussing the survey that would be circulated at the event in order to gather information. They were split in to two groups so that a variety of questions could be created. The groups began by initially just discussing ideas and the information they would like to receive though the survey.
The campaign that is being created is focused on Politics and also Courses that will develop life skills. The aim of the surveys is to find out whether the community would be interested in this sort of project and if so what they would like to see.
The questions will find out what the most popular social media platforms are amongst the community in order to circulate information. The questions will also aim to uncover what the community opinion is on politics and whether or not people are actually interested and want to get involved in politics.
The survey will target a mixture of age groups in order to better understand the interests of a variety of the community to ensure that events organised appeal to them. The team is also particularly interested in the opinions of young people as they are the target demographic for the campaign.
The team then set off in to the community (Redwood Estate) to hand out leaflets and speak to members of the public about Saturday's Big Local Community event.
It was a productive session and the team is ready to move forward on to the next step of the campaign.
Photo credit: Haroon Lukka
By Anjali Parmar
Monday 7th August 2017
Today was a really good experience. We went to the BFI. BFI stands for British Film Institute.
We first got there and went to a tunnel, which had graffiti art all over. I got chosen to be director.
We took many photos of different groups and videos to make a story-line. After this, we went to different food stores to eat our lunch, as we were hungry.
Then we went back to the BFI and went to a studio where we interviewed people about Bollywood and we also met Ameet Chana (above) who was in Eastenders and Bend it Like Beckham.
We also had time to go to London and many places. My favourite part was going to the Water Fountain and running in and out.
Anjali Parmar, 13yrs old
Youth Action Team Member / Youth Film-making Participant
Photo credit: Haroon Lukka & Callum Willis
By Sharan Kaur
Saturday 5th August 2017
Today was so good! We started the day by going into groups with NCS The Challenge.
We were in groups and we were meant to jot down ideas for an ideal picnic.
There is going to be picnic on Saturday 12th August from 1 to 4pm at the Brabazon Centre and Redwood Estate. Both of the groups came up with really good ideas, such as:
During the week, Heston West and NCS The Challenge will decide who’ll be doing what at the event. I am really looking forward to go to the picnic next Saturday, so make sure you join us!
Sharan Kaur, 13yrs
Youth Action Team Member
Keep updated with the adventures of our Youth Action Team by reading our dedicated youth blog!
By Nadia Patel
Week 2: Tuesday 1st August 2017
This week the Youth Social Action Team continued to develop on their idea from the previous week - Politics and Courses.
The day began with another ice-breaker so all the members of the team were able to continue getting to know each other. By the end of the summer the team will probably know more about each other than they’d ever expected to.
The main focus of the session this week was to understand what a campaign really is and clear up any misconceptions surrounding them. Taz Virdee began by asking the team what they thought a campaign is. There were a range of ideas including handing out leaflets and surveys and organising events. Taz then explained that these are all parts of what makes up a campaign.
To Campaign is to work in an organised and active way towards a goal.
The team was then split in to two small groups to create a time line on the campaign project. This involved identifying factors such as obstacles that could be faced and what the desired outcome would be. These included, constraints such as resources or a possible lack of interest by people in the area.
The target demographic for the campaign are 10-20 year olds, which means that the team themselves are the most ideal candidates for this task because they too fall into that bracket and are affected by the issues they hope to improve on.
The next task for the groups was to create an example of the ideal person that they would pitch their campaign to. Both groups had factors in common on their ideal candidate. This person would most likely be a teenager between 13-16 who is in education and wants to learn more about politics and life skills.
The team was very excited seeing how their idea is coming together and can’t wait to make a difference in their community.
Click here to read: Week 1: Developing our Big Local Youth Campaign Ideas
Photos by Haroon Lukka