Two impressive young women from South Leeds are campaigning to win a seat in the UK Youth Parliament.
Leeds will elect three Members of Youth Parliament (MYP) with voting closing at 9am on Friday (25 February 2022). We spoke to Hannah Begum and Tian Cai, both from Beeston, who are amongst the six candidates in the election.
We started by asking about their campaigns. Hannah told us:
“My manifesto is about how Covid 19 has worsened the lives of many young people. It has caused mental health issues, loss of family and friends and social skills. My plan is to help these young people and allow them to be brought out of this cycle of loss, ensuring proper healing after the pandemic.”
“In my manifesto, I discuss problems that I believe affect young people the most: their homes, mental health, environment and education. We should improve housing, increase versatility in education, tackle the stigma of ‘not seeking for help’ and mental health to be embraced rather than seen as a hindrance.”
Both young women are very active both at school and in the community. Hannah attends Notre Dame College where she is studying for A levels in Philosophy, Theology and Ethics, Politics, History and Drama. Hannah recently got into the Ethics Cup Final and will be going to the national finals on 31 May.
Tian is in Year 11, preparing to sit her GCSEs at Cockburn School where she is Head Girl, having previously served on the School Council. She commented:
“Being voted by my peers to become Head Girl of Cockburn School 2022, gave me an insight of what a leader is: selfless, considerate and compassionate. I’ve learned to plan and present assemblies from students to parents, coordinate team meetings, initiate a prom committee and hopefully inspire younger peers at my school.”
Tian volunteered at The Bridge Café in Cross Flatts Park before the pandemic as well as at her church.
South Leeds Life first interviewed Hannah back in 2015 when she ran a very creative campaign to become Leeds Children’s Mayor. She impressed Leeds Voice bigwigs by getting a reply from the Prime Minister (David Cameron in 2016). Since then she has helped produce and present the Leeds Child Friendly Awards and attends Leeds Youth Theatre.
Both Hannah and Tian are proud of their roots in Beeston and South Leeds and are keen to raise the profile of the area if elected. Hannah told us if she wins and gets to speak on the dispatch box in the House of Commons she will mention Beeston and South Leeds.
Tian said that, if elected:
“I hope not only to tackle social issues, but also to change the outlook of politics that young people have, where many feel change is futile, voices are only suppressed and or politics correlates to just corruption. However complex the challenge is, nothing is impossible. I want to provide solutions, alternative ideas and a perspective of an open-minded young person.”
Hannah will be campaigning in Beeston on Monday, in the city centre on Tuesday and at the White Rose Shopping Centre on Thursday. Tian is active on her Instagram @vote_for_tt where she is explaining more about what she hopes to achieve.
We wish both Hannah and Tian the best of luck, both would make great representatives for South Leeds and the wider city.
Voting is open all young people aged 11-18 who live or attend school or college in Leeds. For full details, to read the candidates’ manifestos and to cast your vote click here.
This post was written by Kushmina Begum & Jeremy Morton