My week with the Mayor’s Office: Chelsea & Libby

Today’s guest blog comes from Chelsea and Libby who have spent a week gaining work experience in the Mayor’s Office and Labour Group Office at City Hall.

Chelsea

My name is Chelsea, and this summer I spent a week participating in work experience with the Mayor’s office and Bristol Labour Group. I secured this placement after participating in the Bristol City Leadership Programme in July 2018 – where I met many leaders from across Bristol, including the Mayor, Anna Starkey, Jeremy Sweetland and more!

During my time in the Mayor’s Office, I helped with a variety of office tasks and shadowed the Mayor. The tasks included drafting emails in response to invites; helping with paperwork; sorting the questions for Bristol Question Time and summarising important news articles for the team. When shadowing the Mayor, I accompanied him while he recorded a video with Immediate Media to promote City Leap and as he spoke at the RIBA forum.

While with the Labour office, I was given an overview of the council from a political perspective, tours of the political offices of each party, and completed tasks for the Labour Office, such as checking the news for relevant bodies of the Bristol City Council.

I also had the chance to attend a planning meeting in the Chambers where they discussed the specific plans for construction and changes to the Bristol area. This allowed me to gain insight into how debates work, how the public gain the ability to have a say in the way Councillors and the Mayor change Bristol.

Finally, I met with several councillors. On Tuesday, I learnt what corporate parenting is while shadowing Cllr Helen Godwin during a meeting on the issue. During the event, I met with many other people, including care workers, care leavers, people from the NHS and Councillors that are responsible for children in the care system. This also gave me insight into what Councillors do and the hard work and dedication they put into their areas of concern. Meanwhile, while in the Labour Office I had a meeting with the councillor for the Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston ward – Jo Sergeant.

I decided to do this work placement to gain insight into the functioning of Bristol City Council and high profile events. Overall, my time at the Mayor’s Office was exciting, and I learnt a lot. Thank you to the Mayor and his team for having me.

Libby

My name is Libby, and I had the amazing opportunity of getting a week’s work experience in the Mayor’s office. Over the week, I was able to expand my knowledge and find out about the different functions within the council and the plan for Bristol’s development. As a year 10 student, I haven’t had the opportunity to study law and politics, so this was my first proper insight into the system. From it, I was able to work on my communication and develop new skills.

Throughout the week, the office had me attend different meetings and take part in tasks to give me the best experience possible. Here are some of my favourite moments. On the first day, I was introduced to the office and set up with my own laptop, which made me feel like a proper part of the team.

On Tuesday, I met with two of the cabinet members about their role in the council. One was Kye Dudd, who is the Cabinet member for Transport and Energy, and the other was Paul Smith, who is the Cabinet member for Housing. As well as this, I was able to attend the Full Council meeting. This was a really cool experience to see how people act in a professional environment. I often found myself doing further research on certain things to gain a higher understanding.

On Thursday, I attended the video launch of the #WeAreBristol Campaign at the Watershed, where Marvin Rees gave a speech on divisions in Bristol and how we are all linked in some way. Having gone to a diverse school, it is important for me to have a united community.

Overall, it was an exciting week in which I learned lots of new skills to help me further in life. I now know how the Mayor’s Office functions and what a working environment is like. I loved working with the team and getting to see behind the scenes. Thank you!

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