Havering Youth Parliament members update on first six months

Members of Youth Parliament 2022
Havering's Members of Youth Parliament - Uno Borlasa (left) and Curtis Tobbs
Published: Wednesday, 26 October 2022

Six months on from being elected as Havering’s members of the UK Youth Parliament, Curtis Tobbs and Uno Borlasa tell us what they have been up to and how they’re settling into their roles.

Curtis Tobbs

My time so far as an MYP (Member of Youth Parliament) has been very enjoyable.

I have made a network of friends whom I keep in touch with often, and I have been able to overcome challenges that have come along gradually. 

When I first came into office I was a little afraid of what my term would be like and I was not used to public speaking before being voted in. 

Over these 6 months, I have grown more confident in my public speaking and I am more capable of speaking to people.

I feel like it has set me up for the future. Because I want to go into a career in criminal law I feel like this opportunity will enable me to move forward in my career. 

I think I have managed to balance school and being a member of youth parliament fairly well, I have GCSEs early next year so I think it will be harder to balance my education and my term.

However, I have some time to think about what I can do to equal it out? 

It is a big responsibility. 

I am definitely looking forward to the next year and a half of my term. House of Commons sitting, conventions, events. 

There is so much to look forward to and I feel like I can accomplish a lot during my term, but the thing I’m looking forward to most is doing it all with the second member of youth parliament, Uno Borsala.

In these past six months he has been a great friend and partner.

I love working with him and I’m looking forward to doing more with him in the next year and a half.

Uno Borlasa

Hello. My name is Uno Borlasa.

I am the Member of Youth Parliament for Havering. As of writing, it has been over 6 months in post.

It has been a very fulfilling and interesting journey learning more about the local community here. 

I have met some very warm people who I can rely on, made friends who I can talk to, and met some very important decision makers about supporting young people. 

Whether it’s about safety, mental health, engagement with young people from the local council, as well as other subjects. 

But it has not just been about the people I have met; I have attended several events that note issues within this borough.

Two spring to mind: ‘Love the Hill’ on 14 May 2022 in Harold Hill; and ‘Young Women’s Forum’ on 29 July in Romford Town Centre. 

Both events were held to inspire hope in the community, there was also discussion about how young people can feel safe in the area like adding more street lights down alleyways or more community engagement with law enforcement.

I felt very fortunate to be able to take part in these events as well as to have my voice heard. 

I am pleased to say that I have also had the opportunity to represent this borough at a national event.

Known as the ‘Annual Conference’, Members of Youth Parliament from across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland had come together in one place to discuss and vote for a ‘National Manifesto’ that Youth Parliament puts forward to the government, mainly consisting of potential solutions to problems young people face. 

The solution I put forward was increasing awareness of child abuse on a national level; I am very glad it passed. On a professional level, I enjoyed the event.

The Annual Conference took place at the University of Hull.

There I met lots of interesting, passionate, eloquent young people from all four countries of the UK and the Members from other London Boroughs.  

This event was a great opportunity and   gave me a chance to be independent. 

In the future, I aim to put my policies from words to actions. Reducing stress, child abuse and violence locally is what I want to achieve by the end of my two-year post.

I appreciate the support I have been receiving from my friends and family, both before and during my time.

Thank you so much for six months.