Nic Dakin MP

Standing up for Scunthorpe County Constituency

Young People

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It has been a while since I last had the chance to update my blog, a few months in fact, due to a combination of other tasks and days in college.

In less than a month it will mark a year since I first came to Nic’s office and since then I’ve done so much. Not only have I developed my research skills, confidence and phone skills etc. but I’ve attended training courses and even been registered on the Parliamentary Network with my own Parliamentary email. These skills have also helped me in my college work and my extended project.

I am now in my second year of college, with my A-level exams fast approaching (and a trip to Westminster being planned to celebrate the end of exams alongside gaining more experience.) In my spare time I’ve been doing a lot of political reading, focusing on political theories and the European Union to complement both my college work and what has been in the media recently. 

One major event for me recently is university and the choice of where to study. I applied for a degree in politics and have successfully received five offers for this, with one including a year working inside Parliament. I strongly believe that without the skills and experience I have gained in my time in Nic’s office so far, this wouldn’t have occurred.

I have also been considering my future prospects, after completion of my degree. I currently have many ideas flying around though all I’ve managed to decide so far is that I intend to work within politics.

Jessica's Blog: The Last Few Months

  It has been a while since I last had the chance to update my blog, a few months in fact, due to a combination of other tasks and days...

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A whip is key to the organisation and communication of Parliament, ensuring MPs know when to vote and in which way for the benefit of their Party. It is their job to inform Members of upcoming votes, showing the importance of the matter with a line system, ranging from one to a three line whip which is a major vote whereby missing it can lead to an MP’s effective expulsion. The whip also serves the MP as a resource to provide guidance on the progress of a matter for optimum time management.

This peculiar term is thought to originate from the 18th century and the hunting role of ‘a whipper-in’ so hounds wouldn’t stray. It enabled the government to see which way their MPs were voting, and adjust their privileges accordingly. Yet it remains a vital role, ensuring MPs are accountable for their time, voting is well attended and correctly counted. It is good news for us as constituents. The confidentiality of the role means whips get priority access to Ministers about constituency matters. 

Grace's blog on the 'Role of the Whip'

A whip is key to the organisation and communication of Parliament, ensuring MPs know when to vote and in which way for the benefit of their Party. It is their...

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Earlier this week, Nic led a debate in Parliament on the topic of teaching mindfulness in schools.

A lot of people suffer from mental health disorders while they are in school. In fact around one in ten people aged 5-16 are suffering from a mental health disorder. This works out at around three people in each class. Depression figures have doubled since the 1980’s showing that showing that problems with mental health is increasing. In fact figures show around half of people who suffer mental health issues as a child, find themselves suffering again as an adult.

Mindfulness can be as simple as sitting down in a quiet space, closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing. This could be done for a few minutes or for a longer time. You can either focus on your breathing or focus on what you are feeling. Another form of mindfulness is to do an ordinary task but to focus on what all of your senses are feeling at the time and any thoughts that come to mind- instead of other thoughts such as planning your shopping list.

Ways that schools could bring mindfulness into school could be by PSHE, role play sessions in drama lessons or even by running yoga sessions- either as part of the school day or even in physical education lessons.

There are some studies that have shown that mindfulness is very effective at reducing depression, anxiety and stress. Young people can suffer from lots of stress from exams, friends and all types of things which makes mindfulness a very good thing to be able to do.

The evidence that we have seen from studies shows that there is a strong case for mindfulness to be up scaled in schools.

 

Jessica's Blog: Mindfulness in Schools

Earlier this week, Nic led a debate in Parliament on the topic of teaching mindfulness in schools. A lot of people suffer from mental health disorders while they are in...

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The North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is an NHS organisation which is responsible for local health services in North Lincolnshire.

The aim of CCGs’ are to put local GPs and nurses in a position which means they can develop the services that local residents need.

The main role of the CCG is to assess the regions health needs and to ensure that sustainable, high quality healthcare services are put into place. This needs to be achieved within the budget set out by the Government.

Various challenges face the CCG including  a growth in the older population- around 1 in 5 of North Lincolnshire’s population are over 65 years old which is higher than the national figures, treatments becoming more expensive and more people living with one or more serious long term health conditions.

The North Lincolnshire CCG have recently published their third Annual Report which sets out where and what the funds that the funds are spent on.

The funds provided to the CCG have to be split into many different areas- the main one being hospital services. Over half of the funds go to the hospitals. Other areas include mental health community health, GPs (just under a quarter) and prescriptions (just under a quarter) - amongst many other areas.

 

Jessica's Blog: The CCG

The North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is an NHS organisation which is responsible for local health services in North Lincolnshire. The aim of CCGs’ are to put local GPs...

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In the last two weeks, I’ve spent three days in Leeds on two different training courses.

Monday morning, I woke up bright and early to catch my first train to Leeds. When I arrived I began trying to navigate my way to the building that the course would be in. However my phones GPS decided to mess around and managed to turn a ten minute walk into a forty-five minute one! But I made it there in the end, and still very early.

The course I was attending was a two day crash course on welfare benefits, where we essentially covered the entire system in two days. To look at so many different benefits and to see how they all interact with one another was very interesting.

At the end of my first day in Leeds, I boarded my train home (and despite a close encounter with a wrong train I managed to get home).

On the Tuesday morning, I was up early again for my train back to Leeds for day two. This was personally my most interesting day as we were tackling areas that I have deep interest in- such as DLA and PIP. That afternoon we also began looking at the basics of universal credit- laying the brickworks ready for the course the following Monday on universal credit.

Though delays, cancelled trains and bus replacements lead to chaos on my way home that night, it didn’t put me off.

My second course began on the following Monday- looking solely at Universal Credit. To be quite honest, on my first course I had struggled to understand this but very quickly I began to understand and pick up the information we were given.

Both of my courses were extremely informative and interesting- giving me key knowledge that I can use when researching and drafting documents in relation to welfare benefits and universal credit. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. 

Jessica's Blog: Training Courses

In the last two weeks, I’ve spent three days in Leeds on two different training courses. Monday morning, I woke up bright and early to catch my first train to...

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