Today on Bristol Mum, I interview Isobel Trout, Bristol Youth Mayor for young people aged 11 – 18 in Bristol. I thought it would be interesting for Bristol mums to read about a young person’s work to make Bristol a better place for other young people.
It was a real pleasure meeting and interviewing Isobel. At 16, she is obviously at a different stage of life than I am at my 30-odd years. However, far from this age difference proving a barrier, we chatted for ages and it was interesting to hear about life in Bristol from a young person’s perspective. Here goes…
How did you become involved in your role as Bristol Youth Mayor?
I applied to be a representative for North Bristol in the Bristol Youth Select Committee after my teacher told me about the elections. I’d been on my school council before so I saw it as an amazing opportunity. I was elected in February after 8,800 votes cast by young people in Bristol.
The night of the election results, we were given the opportunity to give a speech to say why we wanted to be in the UK Youth Parliament or be the Youth Mayor. I only found out on stage that my peers in the select committee had elected me youth mayor so I was shocked but also incredibly humbled. I didn’t know Ramal (the other youth mayor) at all, having only met him two hours earlier. Fortunately, we’ve worked closely and got to know each other over the last few months.
Who can vote for Bristol Youth Mayor?
11 – 18 year olds. They had between forty and fifty polling stations around Bristol. These included youth clubs, youth forums, schools and other places like The Station in Broadmead which is a project to provide services for young people in central and east Bristol.
What does your role of Bristol Youth Mayor involve?
I work with the other youth mayor, Ramal Royal, and the Bristol Youth Select Committee to represent or views in the council. We attend cabinet meetings, meet with the mayor to discuss our campaigns, which stem from the manifesto of the BYSC. We also attend events and support organisations with a particular emphasis on helping young people. I’m also a member of this year’s National Youth Select Committee 2013.
What campaigns are you working on at the moment?
Transport – we support the idea of an ID card endorsed by transport providers in Bristol, for all students in full-time education to be provided a free or discounted service.
Sex and Relationships Officer (SRE) – continuing to encourage schools to sign the SRE charter to encourage better SRE in schools.
Work experience – To encourage schools to see the value of work experience, in an effort to equip students with better skills for the work place. We want to work with local businesses to unify schemes of work experience in Bristol to enable disadvantaged young people to have equal opportunities.
Did you enjoy reading my interview with Isobel? What do you think about her role of Bristol Youth Mayor? If you would like to contact Isobel herself, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Isobel is also on Twitter as @isobeltrout