Kent Messenger column w.e. 17-10-14 – Shadow Helen 2014 competition
Engaging younger people in our political processes is arguably one of the most important roles politicians undertake. These are the people who will shape the future of our nation and our place in the world, affecting the lives of our grandchildren and future generations.
This week Kent County Council, along with hundreds of councils and thousands of schools across Europe have been involved with Local Democracy Week. It’s a great opportunity for students to get to know their local councillor, find out about the decision-making process, learn how to get involved, give their views on local issues and understand how democracy affects every aspect of their lives.
I am marking Local Democracy Week with the launch of the 2014 Shadow Helen competition, first run in 2008 and again in 2011. (Right - 2011 winners Hannah Pontet and Leah Maclean pictured on the Terrace at the Houses of Parliament)
This year's winners will have the chance to visit Parliament, view House of Commons debates and work alongside MPs, Government Ministers and local Councillors. The experience will also provide a front row seat to what promises to be an exciting General Election Campaign.
Entrants must be aged between 16 and 18 on the entry closing date of Sunday 16th November and live, or attend school, within the boundaries of the Parliamentary Constituency of Maidstone and The Weald.
The competition process will reflect the way in which a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate is selected, including; presenting a CV, having an interview, giving a short speech and undertaking a Q & A session with a small judging panel. It is not nearly as scary as it sounds and has proven to be ideal practice for those tricky university and job interviews! Every finalist will be offered a day’s work experience in Westminster.
Application forms and guidance notes download links are at the foot of the home page at www.helengrant.org or email email@example.com, or write to ‘Shadow Helen 2014, Helen Grant MP, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA. 304
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