Blog by Sarah Collis, Year 11 Student at Bruntcliffe School

Friday 22nd November was the Children Commissioner’s Takeover Day – Sarah Collis, a Year 11 Student at Bruntcliffe School gives her account of the day below:

On Friday 22nd November I was given the opportunity to spend the day with Ed Balls as a part of Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Day. I was able to experience what a day in the life of Ed Balls, the Shadow Chancellor and MP of Morley and Outwood was like. Through this I was able to learn and appreciate the vital role he plays in the wider community and within people’s lives.

My day started at the Morley Constituency Office where we set off to greet Ed off the train from London. I didn’t know quite what to expect as I’d only really seen Ed at Prime ministers question time in Parliament, where he cuts the image of being a bit intimidating. It was a pleasant surprise to find that he’s really friendly and very easy to get on with. From that point I started to really look forward to the day ahead.

Our first job was to deliver hot meals to the elderly and vulnerable. This allowed me to see what a difference the workers of this service make to peoples life’s, not just in the respect of making sure they have a hot meal but also a bit of company in what might be quite lonely times. It was fulfilling being able to take part in the work the service does and meet the friendly, caring people who make the service thrive.

We then visited Morley Newlands Primary school and were shown the new school building that was currently being built. It was amazing to see how much of a difference the new school building will make to teachers and students alike when completed – as it will offer new opportunities and facilities and a new work ethic for the children and teachers as well as strengthen the school community.

There was no time for rest as we went straight on to Hi5’s Nursery where Ed and I met some very enthusiastic and really cute toddlers who wanted to show us how much fun they have at the nursery. From there we visited a GP’s Surgery, both visits gave me an insight into the role Ed plays in improving facilities and the community when people come to him with questions and issues that they feel need to be addressed.

Then it was back to the offices at Morley where Ed has his weekly surgery, listening to concerns of people within his constituency. In my role as Ed for the day, I was given the opportunity to conduct one of his surgeries and listen to questions and, in turn, his responses and plans for the future in addressing the issues raised.

After a surprise stop at Burger King for a bite to eat (not quite the image of a politician, but great nevertheless) the last job of the day was to sit in a community Labour meeting at Outwood. This enabled me to gain a perspective on the role Ed plays within the local Labour Party in his constituency and how he addresses issues and concerns of local people regarding the policies of Government and how they are positively and negatively affecting people in the area.

The whole day was not only really enjoyable but served to show the vital role Ed plays in changing people’s lives within his constituency and how he addresses and resolves the issues and concerns raised.

Overall, I have gained a new, deeper understanding of the job of an MP. There’s certainly more to it than most of us think.

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Posted November 25th, 2013 by Ed's team