News / Making Change with Fellow Change-makers

Making Change with Fellow Change-makers

Blog / ParliaMentors

Ben Shapiro

24 / 03 / 21

University of Nottingham ParliaMentors with Nadia Whittome MP
The ParliaMentors programme has been a great opportunity for me. It has deepened my understanding of politics, allowed me to meet like-minded individuals and develop a social action project.

The UN-award winning leadership programme has facilitated a great partnership between myself and four other university students in conducting a social action project within our local community, whilst being mentored by Nadia Whittome MP. We have chosen to undertake a project targeting the issue of youth crime, however the problem itself is incredibly complex and as such we wanted to first understand what actions have currently been implemented. Brainstorming, interviewing and planning as a team has been a core element of our approach.

During the start of the process, we formulated a timeline to ensure progress and a plan to ensure effectiveness. Within the timeline and plan, we included dates by which certain parts of project must be completed as well as regular ‘check-in’ meetings. We also ensured to ‘pencil-in’ university coursework deadlines and exams, in order to make sure dates did not clash.

Furthermore, one of the main tasks was interviewing key stakeholders such as community leaders, potential partners etc. The interviewing stage was incredibly insightful as we understood who our target audience might be, charities we could contact as well as the potential pitfalls of our proposed plan. We have now finalised our approach and are hoping to implement our social action project in the next few weeks.

Curbing youth-crime is something we are incredibly passionate about and we understand the importance of solving the grass-roots issues in order to prevent problems further down the line. It has been a challenging process, the addition of the pandemic restrictions have meant we have had to adapt our initial approach. However, all social action projects come with challenges and it is through navigating these obstacles that you can maximise your effect.

I would recommend the programme to all students, regardless of their academic background. If you’re interested in politics, making a real impact and developing a life-long network then ParliaMentors would be a great place to do this. Alumni of the programme have gone on to found their own charities, secure positions within the Civil Service and others have embarked on successful careers within the private sector.
By Kayan Dave
Kayan Dave, ParliaMentor at the University of Nottingham

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