When I heard that there would be a Masterclass with Anneliese Dodds, Chair of the Labour Party, I was ecstatic! Having heard the speeches she had previously given I was looking forward to engaging with her.
Ms Dodds gave a Masterclass session on the 20th of May. The Masterclass started with Ms Dodds introducing herself, giving us an overview on her educational background and political career. Ms Dodds touched upon how she juggles her work life with her family life- which I thought was refreshing. Finally, Mrs Dodds went into depth on the changes she would like to make and the reasoning behind them.
Although there were many inspirational key points that I took away from the Masterclass, below are the ones I would like to share;
- Commitment is needed to make change.
As a British South Asian woman trying to break stereotypes and barriers for other young women who want to pursue a career in sports, this statement which was made by Mrs Dodds resonated with me. It highlighted not only the dedication needed to achieve your goal but the difference you can make when you persevere.
- There is power in education and everyone should be given the same opportunities
Ms Dodds spoke about her remarkable educational background. She was educated at Robert Gordon’s College then progressed into an undergraduate at St Hilda’s College, Oxford and subsequently took a master’s degree in Social Policy at the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in Government at the London School of Economics.
Ms Dodds stated how vital it is for everyone, especially young people, to have the same benefits she did in education and the importance of being able to access some of the best libraries and constituencies regardless of an individual’s race, gender or class. It was very clear to see the fire behind Ms Dodds’ eyes when she was speaking about connecting everyone to education.
- Raise issues for and with young people
As an individual who is passionate about mental health and providing young people with platforms so they can work to a brighter future, having someone in a higher position who also has the same goals showing eagerness to make a change was really encouraging. Ms Dodds spoke about the issues young people are facing today for example, housing and unemployment due to the crisis. She touched upon one of her goals being to engage the community in different ways to reduce anxiety and worries. While Ms Dodds was speaking on her goals, I found it very hard not to smile as it showed what a selfless individual she is.
At the end of the session, Ms Dodds was presented with a range of questions from my fellow Patchworkers. I was really impressed in how Ms Dodds always humanised her answers as it really touched base with me. To conclude, this is one Masterclass that I will never forget. I would like express my appreciation to Anneliese Dodds for speaking to us during the Masterclass and for being so raw and honest with her answers.
Written by Hina Shafi, 2021 Masterclass Programme Participant