As of the 14th April 2016 I have officially been a member of the Liberal Democrats for one whole year. And did I renew my membership? Of course I did! It’s safe to say it has been an eventful and rewarding year.
So much has happened in the past twelve months that has made me realised that the Liberal Democrats is where I belong.
One of the highlights of my first year is that I have had the privileged of attending two federal conferences. Autumn 2015 and Spring 2016. It is fair to say that conference is an absolutely blast. At my very first conference I spoke in the general election review, this was a very rewarding yet terrifying experience. However the positive feedback I received afterwords from fellow members made all those nerves worth while. It also gave me the chance to meet many people who I had spoken to on twitter and may have gone a bit crazy on the spending in the conference shop.This is also where I met the leader himself Tim Farron, he is one of the nicest and down to earth people I have ever met. It was great to talk to him.
Spring 2016 also taught me what conference on a shoe string really meant, with spending most of the money I had in Wetherspoons. However it was still one hell of a weekend (despite the limited funds I had left after!) Spring was also the closest I had even been to meeting Nick Clegg, and even getting a photo with his back (close enough). It was also the first chance I had voting for policy which made the whole weekend even more rewarding. I look forward to Autumn 2016.
The biggest achievement in my first year as a member has to be within only six months of becoming a member and thinking that nobody knew who I was, I was elected to become part of the policy committee within the Liberal Youth. Holding this position has been an amazing experience for me and I’m so lucky to be working with such an amazing policy officer.
Locally (Eastleigh) as well I have been helping out in elections as much as I can. The first ever election I helped out in was the by-election in Chandlers Ford in October 2015. This was the first time that I had ever been canvassing which I really enjoyed.It was also where I was given my first ever Liberal Democrat rosette by ex Eastleigh MP Mike Thornton. I now wear this rosette every time I go canvassing.
I have also been helping out in the recent local election. On Wednesday 27th April I went canvassing with the leader himself (Tim Farron) in Bishopstoke with my local party and even got to knock a few doors with him. On Saturday I did my first ever round of delivery. This was a very interesting experience with me learning a few things; 1. A dog may bite your fingers off (as one was very close to biting me) 2. Take your headphones, your going to need them. I look forwarding to casting my first ever vote on May 5th, for the Liberal Democrats of course!
I hope to increase my involvement within my local party more in the upcoming months.
But despite all the politics, I have made a great deal of friends. Many who I shared a drink, or two with at conference.And some I talk to on a regular basis
Without the party I would have never met one my dearest friends, Callum Littlemore who I always have to send a photo of my conference outfits for approval. Thank you Callum for being the most amazing liberal friend a girl could ask for.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who have made me feel so welcome and supported me throughout my first twelve and a half months of being a member.
I can not wait to see what the next twelve months hold. But I know it will be an adventure!