Saihan’s Story

My life is very busy at the moment. GCSEs are enough to exhaust anyone but I still find time for lots of other things too. Recently, I arranged for a day of work experience with Sense. Sarah White, the Head of Public Policy, kindly invited me to shadow her team for the day due to my interest in politics. Sense is also the ideal organisation for me to work in as I also take part in one of their buddying programs.

Every week I get to see my buddy and do all sorts of activities, but the most important thing for me is having someone to chat to. It is the time of the week where I can talk about all the things that interest me, like politics. My dream is to become a politician, especially becoming a Member of Parliament. Currently I am studying, Maths, English Language, English Literature, Triple Science, Religious Studies, French, History and Economics. To get there, I will study French, Politics and Economics at A level; and people wonder why I am so busy.

All this work has led me to some interesting places. Recently, I ran for the Young Mayor of Tower Hamlets. While I didn’t win, I ran a good race with a manifesto I believed in. Have a little read of it below.

In September, I had the honour of being nominated for a Sense award. After me falling short of the Young Mayor position, I was not expecting to win but was really happy to be nominated. The ceremony went on and the winners were announced. Eventually they got to my category. Before I knew it, everyone was facing me and clapping. It was an amazing feeling. I even got to meet Richard Kramer, CEO of Sense, who presented me with my award. I am also honoured to have met Dr Lisa Cameron MP, who is a SNP MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow.

Manifesto

Hello, my name is Saihan Islam and I am extremely keen on working with you to shape a better and more successful future.

Join me, in my quest to create what-ifs into actuality! Join me for success and join me for change!

Issues for change:

Mental Health Awareness

I am proud to say I suffer from a variety of mental health issues. This does not prevent me from striving to achieve my dreams at all. In fact, it is this very key issue that drives me and I am incredibly eager to help raise awareness of mental health.

My mission is to teach others that having mental health issues does not hinder you one bit – rather, we should all support one another. I aim to work with many reputable organisations such as MIND, CAMHS and National Autistic Society to provide workshops, counsel and presentations to assemblies all across the borough.

My aim is simple – it is to empower individuals and to help raise awareness and help people who may be suffering silently. One in four adults and one in ten children experience mental illness, and many more of us know and care for people who do. (Source: NHS England)

Remove the stigma associated with body image

I would like to work with the youth and help them understand that variations in body types are acceptable and we are all uniquely beautiful. Time and time again we see the youth fixated on their appearance so much that it leads to catastrophic consequences. I want to work collaboratively with the youth and promote self-love. We are all imperfectly perfect.

Youth smoking

Peer pressure is one of the main reasons for smoking. It is a shame that while the youth think they are being cool, they are being the total opposite! I want to help tackle this and inform students of the many disadvantages this has and help maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Despite having the mental health issues highlighted in my manifesto, I strive to carry on with the support I receive from my mum, my family and organisations such as Sense.

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