News / Jaspreet’s reflection on his year as a ParliaMentor

Jaspreet’s reflection on his year as a ParliaMentor



25 / 07 / 16

This time will never come back – Jaspreet’s reflection

I have just got on the train for the ParliaMentors 2015-16 graduation. It took me only 10 minutes to pick my pen to write about the best experience of my life so far. The nib of the pen can feel the burden as it quivers on the page, I have got many self-elevating and emotional experiences to share with the paper.

It all started with a small prayer, when I started to write my application for ParliaMentors. All I thought about the programme was that it will help me to realize my dream of making this society a more inclusive place to live for all humans. Assessment day went really well, and I got a place on the programme.

Induction was the part that I loved the most. It was so great and blissful to be among such inspiring and motivated souls throughout the country who had same, and far greater aspirations than me. The long conversation which I had with my fellow ParliaMentors during the day breaks and nights helped me a lot to learn how to initiate a dialogue, while having conversation with anyone, as before I had seen these conversations as debates. Everything in induction was great, ranging from the Public Speaking session, team building activities, and late night dancing to bhangara tunes!

 “It was so great and blissful to be among such inspiring and motivated souls throughout the country who had same, and far greater aspirations than me.”

After Induction I was even more inspired to dream of great projects to do on my year as a ParliaMentor. I decided that, no matter what, I will try to get involved with all that I am offered. I knew it will be really hard for me being in the final year of my studies, having 3 different jobs in the university, and Vice President of BCU Sikh Society, to accept the challenge to learn more about how the UK Interfaith and political system works. I got involved in a range of activities and campaigns throughout the year. For example, I attended the London Mayoral Election Debate and also got an opportunity to see how the votes are counted in the in London Mayoral and Assembly Elections. I also got involved to Bite the Ballot, which is a party neutral organisation. It helped me a lot to see how the youth is disengaged with the main stream politics and why there is such a big need for youth all across the world to get engaged with the politics.

The highlight of my programme was to contribute to the debate, ‘How to increase diversity in the Parliament’ in the House of Lords.  I still remember myself in the little streets of India

talking about making big changes in whole of the world, I feel really blessed to say that I had the once in a life time opportunity to contribute to a debate within the chambers of UK Parliament. It meant a lot to me and my Sikh community members as well, as there are very few young Sikhs which have contributed to such a debate. My story got shared all over the world through Birmingham City University, British Organization of Sikh Students, Sikhnet on social media and other channels. I still remember more than 100 students and staff members in our Birmingham City University approached me and said “Are you the one who spoke in House of Lords” and I said, “Yes”, “Well done, I am so proud of you. Keep it up”.  I realised that, at that time, I was living my dream. My story got shared all across the BCU websites, career presentation and business school projects.  I really loved the fact that the most of the students and staff members were those whom I have never seen and met before. Another highlight was that I got elected as Vice President Student Experience in BCUSU elections 2016. It was possible because of the skills and knowledge I gathered throughout the year on ParliaMentors.

“The highlight of my programme was to contribute to the debate, ‘How to increase diversity in the Parliament’ in the House of Lords.”


My fellow BCU ParliaMentors are the most loving personalities I have ever met. We initiated a social action project “Mind Matters the Most”. The mental health issues which we facedin the past guided us to make this project happen.  The project tackled the stigma around mental health in Birmingham Universities and the community.  We had quality personalities who got involved in our project, as some of them were professionals who got fully engaged with the workshops designed by us.

Even after the first year of my journey finished I was able to bring my skills as a ParliaMentor to very wide audiences, first I appeared live on the BBC’s, “The Big Questions,” and then I was a panelist during the BBC young EU referendum debate.

ParliaMentors was the highlight of my university life. I have learned very efficiently by being in the company of my year group, how to initiate a dialogue and keep everything calm and steady even in a conversations with lots of strong characters and opinions. I broke stereotypes because I was a ParliaMentor. A simple Indian village citizen to a global change maker. My journey was great. Yes, I am proud to be a ParliaMentor.

Jaspreet Singh, ParliaMentor 2015-16

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