My name is Elin Lloyd Griffiths, and I am a year 12 pupil currently studying at Ysgol David Hughes. I was fortunate enough this week to go on work experience with the AM for Anglesey, Rhun ap Iorwerth. I spent three days in the constituency office in Llangefni doing various interesting things whether it would be focusing on the Broadband problem which is currently causing many difficulties for the people of Anglesey to being able to go to the official opening of RSPB Cors Ddyga. I spent the other two days of my week in Cardiff where I could see with my own two eyes what sort of things take place there. I instantly realised quite soon after arriving at Tŷ Hywel how different my experience in Cardiff would be compared to my experience in the constituency office in Llangefni. However, I thoroughly enjoyed my work experience, and being able to put myself in a politician’s shoes for a week!
The first thing that I did on the Monday morning was to listen to a discussion between Rhun and a women representing Waters of Wales. She believed strongly that everyone should have access to every river as all they want to do is appreciate the natural beauty around them. I found that this was a very intriguing discussion as the other side of the story would be that landowners don’t feel that the general public should have the right to trespass on their land. As well as this, I had the opportunity to go to the official opening of RSPB Cors Ddyga as Rhun was opening the nature reserve. We heard the Choir of Ysgol Esceifiog singing as well as the unveiling of a wooden bittern sculpture which has been commissioned especially for RSPB Cors Ddyga to mark the reserves’ recent celebration when the bittern nested at RSPB Cors Ddyga – the first time in Wales for 32 years.
By Tuesday and Wednesday, I was in Tŷ Hywel in Rhun’s office. I read a consultation by the government proposing to lower the voting age in local elections to 16 years old. Following this, I had the opportunity to write a press release alongside Rhun voicing my opinion on this matter. I find it very unfair that the young people of Wales and the United Kingdom in general cannot be included in the country’s democracy due to our age. In addition, it is extremely frustrating for young people because politics has been evolving rapidly especially in the last year in particular, and despite the fact that these changes are going to affect our future, we don’t have a vote to express our feelings about it! I was fortunate enough to go and listen to the First Minister’s questions in the Senedd. This was a very interesting experience as I could sense the underlying tension between the parties, and I liked how some of the parties challenged the First Minister especially in the questions where he wasn’t allowed to prepare beforehand. I also had the opportunity to translate Rhun’s article in the Holyhead and Anglesey Mail on the importance of learning a foreign language, and this was extremely beneficial especially as I intent to study languages at University. My experience in the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff was very rewarding. From witnessing the Health Committee discussing health related issues to participating in a discussion on Brexit, it was an eye-opener seeing just how different the work is in Cardiff compared to Llangefni, but at the same time, I realised just how interesting politics is at the moment here in Wales.
I was back in the constituency office in Llangefni by Thursday, and I wrote a letter as well as a poster on behalf of Plaid Cymru here on Anglesey regarding the Broadband issue that is prevalent on the island. The letter invited people across the island to come to an event where they could see if they are eligible to receive Fibre to the Premises broadband. We went to the official opening of the Cefni and Alaw water reservoirs on the Friday where there are millions of pounds being invested into the island, and this is extremely heart-warming to see.
It has been a very enjoyable and beneficial week for me. From listening to the First Minister’s questions in the Senedd to going to the official opening of RSPB Cors Ddyga back on the Island, I have had various experiences that have enabled me to think about the possible jobs available in the political world. I would like to thank Rhun, Non, Francess and Heledd for the opportunity and experience.