I grew up in Stanford Le Hope, but have lived and worked in Southend for around 10 years.
I am a Manager at Adventure Island looking after 500 people during the height of summer. This job is more like an apprenticeship for life, as I have grown up with the company having worked there for over 10 years.
My biggest strength is the empathy I feel for people. Each person that works for us has their own unique background and circumstances that they need to get through. I take a leading role in this in my position as Welfare Officer. I work closely with our Chaplains and our counsellors who together make real life changes to a person’s life.
All too often I see people struggling with all manner of issues, and if it is wasn’t for the transformational system we have adopted at Adventure Island, I am not confident many would have found the hep they needed.
The reason for putting myself forward as a Councillor is because I feel a great sense of satisfaction from supporting our staff, and I want to extend this to the residents of Southend. It is this that fuels me and it has highlighted the difference one person can make.
My big passion is education.
I see thousands of young people with mind-sets that will never enable them to fulfil their potential. I cannot believe that out of 11 years of education they have not been taught the mentality that will unlock their ambitions. This is not a slight on our staff because I am happy to tell you that when people are given time and attention, almost all of them grow as people. This also not a slight on our educators. I know many teachers and they put their sweat and tears into their jobs and try their best to instil the right mentality. However, many teachers have said they find teaching in classes of 35 plus is realistically impossible make the difference needed. They also cite the heavy workload that no one outside teaching realises is being asked of them
I am aware that education is a national issue, but as a party we have said if it affects local people then it is still a local issue regardless of the political structures that are currently in place. It is this kind of freedom that makes Confelicity so different. No more will you hear ‘it’s not our remit’ and there’s nothing we can do as it is a national issue, as we so often hear in the Council chambers.
Of course we will work within the boundaries, but we will not see them as a line that we will turn away from. In my view many of the problems in society today can be traced back to a person’s education. If we get this right then everything else should follow.
Outside of politics and work, I like to volunteer at One Love Soup Kitchen, who work tirelessly quietly serving those in need. I also volunteer at Southend Hospital when there are opportunities to do so. I am a keen dancer and like to spend time with my family whenever I can. I am currently studying for a Business Degree, which Adventure Island are paying for, and will be qualified next year, which I am very proud about.
I am standing in Leigh, and it is obvious why it has been voted the happiest place to live in the UK. The history of old Leigh, Leigh Broadway, and views of the Thames Estuary are just a few of the standout reasons it is such a great place. Yet it still suffers from the same issues as the rest of the city such as anti-social behaviour, drugs, and pot holes and broken pavements, and a lack of quality job opportunities.
A big part of the Confelicity manifesto is Southend High Street, and Leigh Broadway is the leading example of what it can become with focussed leadership. It is not perfect and expenses have started to force people out of their well-established businesses, but it does remain the greatest example of what Southend could be.
I am looking to bring empathy, understanding and compassion to the residents of Leigh, while approaching politics with fresh eyes and fresh ideas.
Thank you for taking the time to read about me and what I hope to achieve for Southend.
Leigh Confelicity Candidate