A lot of people say I’m not your typical County Councillor. I’m 21, a university student and I wanted to prove to people that us politicians are not ‘all the same’.
When I chose to stand for election, I didn’t want to focus on logistical issues, such as roads and dog poo, albeit important. I wanted to look at the bigger picture including mental and emotional health and that’s why I’m contributing to Life Seeker.
My wellbeing remit
In February 2018, I was appointed by the Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council to become the council’s ‘Wellbeing champion’. My role is to promote wellbeing in Pembrokeshire and that’s mainly focused on schools in the county. I’m not writing to say everything is perfect, it’s not, but what I and the inclusion service try to do well, is listen.
Working with Pembrokeshire schools
Since I’ve taken up my post, I’ve tried to visit a number of schools in the county to see what they do well. I’ve been as far North as Preseli Secondary and as south as Monkton Primary.
There isn’t a blanket approach to wellbeing that everyone must adopt. What I can’t stress enough is to do what works for you. Whether that’s getting out and about as part of a club, embracing the outdoors or taking some time for yourself. Try to do different things and don’t be afraid of it!
I took up my post because I had a passion for wellbeing and that comes from my time in school. This was only four years ago! Personally, I never felt there was enough support or focus on mental health and focus was always on getting the best grades, yet without your mental health, how can you be expected to do well?
For me, mental health is the most important thing and I think society is genuinely starting to recognise that changes are needed.
Proactively supporting young people in Pembrokeshire
There have been some real positive steps for wellbeing in Pembrokeshire including a new inclusion website that has some fantastic videos and resource for guiding young people who may need support. The way individuals engage and access support is changing and it’s great to see the council move with the times and embrace the digital world.
Youth Board to lead the way
Going forward, the council is now setting up a youth board to look at engaging young people across Pembrokeshire on what works well for them in terms of their wellbeing.
Whilst I can go into far more detail about the two above, in my next article I will endeavour to go into more detail about each.
Thanks for reading this very brief update about what I do and hopefully you’ll read the next one. If you have any thoughts, opinions or comments then please email me on email@example.com or start a discussion in the comments area below.
This story is part of the Life Seeker newspaper