Much to my surprise, I was recently elected by 11-18 year olds in Allerdale and Copeland to stand as their Member of the Youth Parliament. I have always been interested in politics but more importantly, I have always been passionate about wanting to make a difference to people’s lives. Young people don’t really get to voice their opinions, but I hope that I can use my

position to make their voices heard. The election process was a brilliant opportunity to understand what is important to the students in Cockermouth School and what I should be working on. After conducting research in school, the three main areas that I will be working on are Mental Health, A Curriculum to Prepare us For Life, and School Transport.

I am lucky to be supported by my Deputy Member of Youth Parliament (MYP), Heather Gibbon, and my Allerdale and Copeland Youth Council. We work with an assistant psychiatrist from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) to see what we can do to improve CAMHS and the process young people and parents go through to access it. Aside from the other subjects that were in the manifestos that Heather and I submitted, we are also working on a project called The Red Box, which aims to eliminate period poverty in schools by providing free products which we will fundraise for and buy every month to make sure that the boxes are never empty. We recently discovered that several students miss school due to not being able to afford period products and hopefully by the end of my term as MYP I will be able to say that we are running this project in several schools around Cumbria with the help of my other MYPs (Gabriel Aston for Carlisle and Eden and Reece Hammond for Barrow and South Lakes). No girl should be made to pay for period products, especially in schools.

I am involved in a group of students from Cockermouth and Netherhall Schools called ‘We Will’, which aims to change the attitudes and stigma surrounding mental health. Being in this group is a huge inspiration and I have absolute faith that through working with this group we will be able to achieve things that would never have been possible before. We are currently working with Sue Hayman MP and will work with Headteachers around Cumbria, so watch this space!

I hope that by being a MYP I can show young people that there are a range of activities that you can be involved in beyond school and if you put your mind to it, you really can make a huge difference to the people around you. Even if it doesn’t seem like it now, grades are not everything and you can be successful even if you do struggle at school. If you work hard for whatever you want in life, then eventually you will achieve it. Just keep going and never give up!

Elspeth Dennison Cockermouth School Year 13 Student


Graysonside, Cockermouth CA13 9TQ 07767 069 871 or 01900 822351


The relaxing atmosphere at the Borrowdale Hotel  

Served daily from 2.30pm until 5pm £21.95 per person


Enjoy friendly service alongside a selection of roasts from our traditional carving trolley and delicious homemade puddings

Served 12pm until 2pm 4 Course with tea & coffee £23.95

To book your table call 017687 77224 THE BORROWDALE HOTEL

 

Let’s talk... Back Care

Carers Week recently focussed on supporting carers to be healthy and connected.

Caring can be a hugely rewarding experience, enriching relationships and providing a sense of satisfaction and wellbeing. However, caring for others often comes at a cost to carers’ own health and wellbeing, as they put their own health needs to the back of the queue.

To tie in with the theme, the charity has arranged two Carers Meets all about caring for your back, so let’s talk… Back Care

Lifting and carrying are an everyday part of life for many carers and for some this can lead to significant back pain and problems. You may often find yourself lifting and moving the person you care for, heavy objects and furniture and cumbersome wheelchairs or equipment, often without support and without giving any thought to your own safety.

These sessions will provide information and support to help you to keep YOUR back safe. The Cumbria Occupational Therapy Team will be on hand to share their tips for safe moving and handling techniques.

You will also be able to meet up with other carers dealing with similar issues and problems whilst enjoying the lunch and refreshments provided.

COPELAND When - Wednesday 18th July from 10.30am to 12.30pm Where - The Senhouse Centre, Whitehaven


When - Thursday 26th July from 10.30am to 12.30pm. Where - The Helena Thompson Museum, Workington

If you would like more information or to book a place, please call West Cumbria Carers on 01900 821976.

Julie Crellin ISSUE 426 | 23 JUNE 2018 | 13

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