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Member of the Senedd for Newport West

Jayne Bryant AM, 45

They Sound Like Me, They Look Like MeLeigh Davies
00:00 / 03:37

When I was at university I wrote to every MP locally to do some work experience, and Paul Flynn actually wrote back to me. He asked me how good I was on the computer, using a word processor. So, I had to ring him back …and he gave me a chance! Y’know, I wasn’t in the top of my class at school or anything, but Paul gave me a real opportunity and I was so grateful for that, that he had seen something in me, and continued to support me. It used to be that people got elected somewhere, and they didn’t necessarily ever visit their constituencies really…and I think that has changed now - people want to know that you’re around. They want to know that you’re there, that you’re present. That you’re not from another planet or another place. So you try to be visible. …and I especially feel that this is important when it comes to young people. Because for me, I felt that it really impacted me meeting Paul Flynn when I was younger and that’s why I feel strongly about going to speak to young people - whether it’s at schools or in other settings, you know, any time I get the chance really! Because it gives them the opportunity to think “Oh! Well that person is a politician! …and they sound like me, they look like me” and I’ve sat in the same chairs that lots of these young people have sat in, having gone to St Julian’s Primary and Secondary myself, you know, I’ve been there, and I think, well, it’s about knowing that you seem the same as those people doing these important things - because it can lead people to think “Well… if they can do that, then I can do that too!”. And that’s what I want young people to think - that it IS for them. Because I spent so long thinking it wasn’t for me. It didn’t even cross my mind back then that I could do what I do now. But it really is for everybody, because we need our politicians to be diverse and representative of the communities that we live in.

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