Students experience life on the hill at Stormont

TWO Banbridge students have experienced life at the Northern Ireland Assembly, Stormont.

Jorden McDowell, a politics students at Greenwich University and Jayne Weir, a third year student at Banbridge High School were hosted by local Ulster Unionist MLA Jo-Anne Dobson.

Mrs Dobson said: “I have always felt it vitally important that young people take an interest in politics and how the Northern Ireland Executive works. Both Jorden and Jayne contacted me to express their interest in politics and in shadowing me in my role as a local MLA and I was delighted to facilitate their visit to Stormont.

Commenting following her work shadowing Jorden said: “I had previously visited Stormont whilst studying at Banbridge High School, but my return was inspired by a passion for politics after I studied it at A Level.

“During my time of work experience Jo-Anne very kindly gave me the opportunity to shadow her during a normal working day at Stormont. I was able to see the ins and outs of the work of an MLA, including their responsibilities in Committees, the Assembly Chamber and also dealing with constituency correspondence.

“Jo-Anne also kindly offered me the experience of shadowing her in her Banbridge constituency office to see first-hand how an MLA assists local constituents with their concern and problems. I feel from my time shadowing Jo-Anne, both at Stormont and in her constituency office, has given me key experience in the field in which I hope to pursue a future career.”

Jayne also said: “Early one Monday morning I went to Stormont with Jo-Anne Dobson. I was picked up in Banbridge early on that morning we had headed down to Stormont. My thoughts of Stormont is that it is huge and I also got to see some important MLA’s including Danny Kennedy, Tom Elliott and John McCallister.

“I got to meet them at a cycle safety bike ride which was held outside the building. I was also able to go to question time in the chamber and found it really interesting to see it all in person.”