500 Words From Charley Hasted

I’m only 24 years old but I have a wealth of experience representing and campaigning for people and issues I care passionately about. I’ve taken part and led campaigns as diverse as preventing the closure of my local library in London, fighting against the closure of a centre dedicated to improving the lives of disabled people by allowing them to live independently, helping to secure funding for a young carers group to give their members a break, securing pledges from a local council (Greenwich) to protect and support young people, protecting talking newspapers and dial-a-ride services for Deaf and disabled/elderly people and campaigning against discrimination in all its many and varied forms.

I may not be a born and bred Stokie but I chose to come here for University and then I chose to stay after I graduated. I love living in Stoke and I sincerely hope to be able to stay here for a long time. I’ve contributed to Stoke I used to be a youth worker for the Council; I’ve done fund-raising activities for local charities (including having my head shaved a year ago).

I want to help improve Stoke by encouraging job creation and educational aspiration. One is useless without the other. I’d like to encourage entrepreneurs in Stoke; we have smart people with good ideas out there who just need a bit of help maybe with finance or a skill they lack. Why not help link them up with investors or people who have that skill? I’d like to try and continue a scheme I took part in through AimHigher where students go into local schools and colleges and give advice on further and higher education. I want to make sure the Council is offering work experience placements, internships and apprenticeships to people of all ages that are valuable and relevant to them and encouraging others to do the same.

I want to ensure that you are getting the services you need and that we can continue to provide them for you. The fact is we have less money, I wish we didn’t but there’s nothing I can do about it. However there have got to be places we can save money without cutting services. A case in point, why are we spending huge amounts of money on solar panels for the show lights at the civic centre? Why not turn the lights off? Secondly I disagree with some facets of the big society but I am passionate about encouraging volunteering, as someone who has been a volunteer virtually since I can remember. So why don’t we do more to encourage people to help their communities not as a way of replacing public services but as a way of making them better?

When all is said and done we’re wasting time with bickering and point-scoring when we should be pulling together and make sure we’re building a strong, secure and sustainable future whatever parties we may or may not be members of.

Have Your Say