Young OBV talent take their place


As activists I and my OBV colleagues were filled with great pride watching the first Prime Minister’s Question time of this new Parliament.  For there sat proudly on Her Majesty’s green benches representing the people of Slough and Battersea two OBV alumni, now MP’s: Tan Dhesi and Marsh De Cordova.

This was a particular high drama PMQ’s, not least because the political landscape since the June election had dramatically changed. The Prime Minister, Theresa May had gone from almost unassailable power to needing the Democratic Unionist Party - DUP - to literally stay in power. All at a time when the UK is desperately struggling to find where and what our place in the Europe, along with massive domestic issues such as Grenfell, and the continued threats of terrorism.

And right there were these two young people who came to OBV with the simple desire to change our world, serve and represent all communities in our nation.

For us it was a proud day and, actually  a proud week. Two days before that I received a call from Paula Robinson - Aberdeen. She took park in our leadership scheme in Lewisham - a scheme that nurtures talent to think about taking up  leadership roles such as becoming school governors, magistrates, and councillors. So on Monday Paula called to share some great news:  "Simon", she said, " I thought you might like to know, that last week I was sworn in as one of Her Majesty’s Justices of the Peace-otherwise known as a magistrate". She went on to say it, "wasn’t until the formal swearing-in that I realised that enormity of what I’d achieved, and the great responsibility I now have to impart justice." She concluded by saying that this would not have been, possible "if it wasn’t for the support of OBV, and in particular Merlene Carrington, who, as a former magistrate, helped me every step of way in fulfilling my dream."

So to all three young leaders, and now role models we pay tribute to you.  We know you’ll serve with great distinction, and help others follow in your footsteps.

Simon Woolley