Youngsters involved in politics TV debate
Three young people from a Welsh Baptist church have taken part in a television debate in an attempt to convince people to vote.
Year 11 students, Deandra Wheatland, Ffion Price and Ashley Mansel featured in the BBC Wales X Ray current affairs programme, where they took part in a debate with some determined non-voters. The programme is set to air on 4 May.
‘To take part was a great opportunity,’ Deandra said. ‘We didn’t manage to convince the non-voters but I think we gave them something to think about. I’m looking forward to being able to vote.’
Their participation came about through their involvement at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Bonymaen, a village on the eastern edge of Swansea.
Ashley, with the agreement of others, had an idea to form a youth group focused around a drama workshop. The group is called “Manic Productions” and puts on shows in support of the Swansea East Side Food Bank, which is also based at the church.
it has given them an increased awareness of community issues, and as a result they have come to know ward councillors Paul Lloyd and Mandy Evans, Assembly Member Mike Hedges and have been out campaigning with Parliamentary Candidate, Carolyn Harris (Labour).
Ffion said, ‘We were lucky enough to discuss our involvement in causes that are important to us with the BBC. We all spoke about the food bank and how being involved with Mount Zion fulfilled us. Yes, we can help people but being part of what’s going on is good for our own individual, social and mental wellbeing.’
Minister the Revd Chris Lewis noted how historically Baptists have given expression to their Christian values in political action.
‘Nye Bevan came of a Baptist family,’ he said, ‘One of our members, Mair Gibbs was a ward councillor, Lord Mayor of Swansea and is now an Alderman.
'Deandra, Ffion and Ashley are following in a good tradition. Why should Gospel values not be in the public realm?’