Youth board member Jen Davis shares her story of how a pivotal moment in national politics and an act of kindness from a local MP drew her in to the political world

The general election 2010 was a life changing moment. The Labour government I knew and loved was no longer in power.

A few months after being elected into government, the coalition scrapped Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA). Although the change would not affect me, I was deeply saddened that those younger than me would not have the same opportunity as I did.

In 2012 I decided to join the Labour party as I wanted to speak up for young people and change their negative perception about politics and politicians. I was an inactive member until 2014 when my current MP Matthew Pennycook came to my house and we had a long discussion. This was the first time a politician took interest in me and it changed my whole perception of them.

‘This was the first time a politician took interest in me and it changed my whole perception of them’

This act of kindness encouraged me to become active in my local party and I campaigned during the general election. I also was elected in 2015 as my Constituency Labour Party (CLP) Youth Officer and was selected as a participant of the Uprising Leadership Programme, whose aim is to equip young people with knowledge, networks, skills and confidence to reach their leadership potential.

 It was not easy being a member of a political party, but I felt joining was the first step to making real tangible change.

Strong community and strong values really resonated with me as a young Christian deciding to enter the political sphere. Building a strong community is about people having relationships with one another regardless of race, gender, religion or social class. Just as in Romans 12:16 Paul explains that we must live in harmony with one another and respect each other. Building strong communities must have at its centre the key principal of the Gospel: to love and forgive our neighbours.

 I would encourage more young Christians to get involved in politics as it affects their daily lives, from the way their food is grown to how their curriculum is set. If you want to make a change, you need to be within the community that has the power to make the change.

'If you want to make a change, you need to be within the community that has the power to make the change'.