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Step Up Cymru Mentee Journal - Diana Ellis

Mentor, Cllr Lindsay Whittle


I want to thank 'Step Up’ team for allowing me to be a part of this scheme, as without it I may not have had the discipline or impetus, to actually set out back on this track, which is one which I have always wanted to follow. My confidence has already soared, I’m feeling very much at home on the scheme, but I am also identifying the areas where I’m lacking insight. For November, I am looking to get as much experience as possible shadowing AMs, and MPs. I would also like to help in facilitating an event, and have a go at Public Speaking. I have had some experience at a Church, but I would love to gain some more experience in political or community events.

By the end of this scheme I would like to have achieved setting up a BME Community group in the Blackwood area, and in the long run I would love to encourage Women to get more involved in Politics, and also help to empower people from BME groups to 'Get Involved’, and to set up a Charity to fill in the large GAPS in community services provision, to help people who are experiencing the effects of abuse. To help them get back on their feet and live more 'Normal’ healthier lifestyles.

27 October 2009 - Citizenship Meeting

Ty Penallta, Ystrad Mynach

I feel there’s no better way to welcome people to the Welsh Community but by this event. Citizens were very proud to pledge and swear their allegiance, and very proud to receive their certificate. I was able to encourage them to also get involved in politics, as there is a great need for them to represent BME group within their community. I felt very proud to be able to attend and to encourage them to also 'GET INVOLVED’.

26 October 2009 - Group Meeting

Ty Penallta, Ystrad Mynach

Very interesting meeting. I felt very proud of my Council. How the group all work hard to push the most important issues to the forefront for their constituent members. I felt very insignificant in the whole scheme of things. I’m in awe of the Group. Can I do what I’ve just seen them do???   I would say YES.

26 October 2009 - Informal Cabinet Meeting

Ty Penallta, Ystrad Mynach

This was a very interesting meeting with my Mentor. I was introduced, welcomed and I took part in meeting. I felt very proud of myself, I know what’s going on, I can take part in a group meeting without having any formal training, follow the agenda, and thoroughly enjoy myself. My confidence has definitely been given a boost.

20 October 2009 - Black Hisotry Month Film Screening - A Way of Life

Julian Hodge Building

A very moving screening of a BAFTA award winning film set in Wales. Twists in the tale. Highlighting the issues of racism and preconceptions of youth, young single mums, class divide the concept of 'The Family’. I’m still not sure how I was affected, but will definitely draw on the movie as a point of reference.

16 October 2009 -Afternoon - Home Meeting

I was moved by my friends disabled mother’s situation. She was having problems with Social Services and O.T. to fit a stair lift and put up safety rails and a disabled shower. Labour Voter Eileen was distressed by the way she was treated so I contacted Councillor Alan Higgs to help. He helped, she is now receiving the support she needs. I feel empowered to help anyone who needs help, and I want to do more.

16 October 2009 - Morning - Personal Advisory meeting with GAVO about setting up charity

I arranged this meeting after being inspired by Step Up and my experiences, I want to help my community fill in the service gaps for help for people who are experiencing the effects of abuse, and who want to get help to get back to living a more 'normal’ healthier life. This initial meeting has put me on track

9 October 2009 - First Meeting with Mentor

Ty Penallta, Ystrad Mynach

My first meeting with my Mentor, Cllr Lindsay Whittle. It’s broken the ice, and we talked about me, who I am, why I’m interested in politics, and what he can offer me as a Mentor. We exchanged details and I was given his diary and info on how to arrange experiences. I was introduced to cabinet members and Council staff and made to feel at home. Left the meeting feeling very welcomed and raring to go.

7 October 2009 - Step Up Cymru Launch
Senedd, Cardiff Bay

It was a very exciting evening, with lots of opportunity to get to know Co-ordinators, Mentor, and my mentoring group. Inspiration came from Liz Musa who demystified the mentoring process. I left feeling with a sense of belonging, and the inspiration to reach my full potential, and to work to my personal goal to develop a 'Growth Environment'

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