Ashton Howick

The Young Greens is the youth and student wing of the Green Party of England and Wales. This summer, members of the Young Greens will be voting to elect a new executive. Bright Green is offering each of the candidates a chance to set out their vision.

I’m 20 years old, I grew up in a little town next to Gatwick Airport and I now live in Wakefield. My political passion first started when I was around 16. I used to volunteer at my local youth centre and used to run what we called “the café project”, where we would have an open day at the centre once a month and the café would provide food and drink, lead by myself and run by the young people. Then, Tory cuts were announced and we received a consultation that would cut youth services in Surrey by around 80%. I spent two months campaigning, using local social media pages to raise awareness, going to council meetings to ask for some support from town councillors and went to see my MP. My MP was particularly useless in the situation and never got back to me.

More recently I’ve been rushed off my feet with the by-election in Wakefield. As well as working full time, I have attended the action day, put up close to 250 posters across the constituency and been leafleting too, all to try and get the amazing Ash Routh elected. We didn’t do bad at all, coming 5th out of 15. So now that that’s all over until the next elections, I’m taking some time to help the party out in other ways. One of these ways is by running for treasurer of the Young Greens!

Why do I want to become Young Greens treasurer?

So, after spending quite a bit of time with my fellow Wakefield Green Party members lately, it’s clear that we cannot run successful campaigns without proper funding. What I want to do as treasurer is explore ways of getting more funding for the Young Greens so that everyone across the party can carry on the amazing work that they do. One of the ways I would like to explore is working with other organisations to see what support we can get from them, for example up here in Wakefield we spent some time with the wonderful people at Make Votes Matter, who are pushing for proportional representation to be brought into the UK. Running action days and promoting the powerful policies that the Green Party stand for would also be incredibly important; after all, it’s what the party is based on!

So, why me?

Well, I’ll be honest, I haven’t been a treasurer of anything before. However, as a teenager I spent a number of years fundraising with a local charity, attending events and helping out on stalls. I also live and breathe finance. Before moving up to Wakefield, I spent 2 years helping out in the family business alongside my full time job, generating invoices, running payroll, paying bills, making sure that all the accounts were up to date. Now that I’ve moved up, I am working for a major airline at their head office in one of the many accounts teams, so I’m constantly processing invoices that come in from all over Europe, ensuring that every single charge on those invoices is correct and accounted for, and if there are any issues, it’s my responsibility to investigate this.

The future?

The best thing about the Young Greens is that we are the future. We are the people who will lead the Green Party, who will campaign for what is right and fight against what is wrong in the UK, who will prioritise the climate emergency we are living through. I’d love to see the Young Greens expand their outside links to other organisations, both national and regional, to grow our campaigning capacity and really push our strong messages. I’d also like to ensure that every local area has a Young Greens group. I know of some areas that have a really strong group that meet and campaign together, but this isn’t every area. I am a firm believer that meeting people in person and campaigning, sharing ideas, and spreading the Green message is still a good way to get us out there, even in a world where social media is so huge.

To summarise, I am an extremely passionate Young Green, who has a lot of experience around this role. I will ensure that I will do as much as I can to ensure that the Young Greens can continue their work by fundraising and working with all other departments to see what needs to be done. I’ll also chase you all endlessly for your receipts to make sure expenses are up to date, so get them in!

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I’m so proud to be a Young Green and it would be an absolute pleasure to be able to help the party grow and fight the good fight!

PS. We hope you enjoyed this article. Bright Green has got big plans for the future to publish many more articles like this. You can help make that happen. Please donate to Bright Green now.