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  • Harriet Main

CYW Candidate Profile - Abigail Mainon

"Conservative Young Women is a brilliant and supportive network, through Conservative Young Women I have had access to ample training sessions, how to prepare for standing, for public life and what to expect."

Abigail Mainon is 25 and lives in North Wales and sits on the CYW committee as the representative for Wales. Abigail is the Vale of Clwyd Association Chairman, Welsh Parliamentary Candidate for Alyn and Deeside and a Town Councillor in Bodelwyddan.

In her spare time she enjoys fitness classes, long walks and volunteering. Abigail’s voluntary work includes serving as a Childline Counsellor and running a local community charity where she has been assisting elderly residents throughout the pandemic.

Why did you get involved in Conservative Young Women?

In Wales there are only a handful of younger women active within the party, I joined Conservative Young Women to get the opportunity to network with and learn from like-minded, experienced women from across the UK and to develop my skills on how I can proactively help more young women to gain the confidence to get involved in politics and activisms at all levels.

Why did you decide to get involved in Politics?

I got involved in politics as a way to help improve my local community. When I joined the party I had no ambitions of standing, I didn’t even think that was an option to me, I was just happy to get out and physically be a part of making a difference in my area and wanted to help people.

I found a group of likeminded peers who also had this burning desire to create a better future for our area and the people living in it and I saw and still see politics as an effective medium to actually make positive change.

What do you want to achieve during your time on the Conservative Young Women’s Committee?

As the CYW regional chair for Wales my ambition is to work towards finding and nurturing talented young women who are Conservative in value and who want to make a difference in their community and our County, I want to encourage them to get involved and support them on their political journey.

If anything actions speak louder than words and I intend to be a role model to my peers, breaking down barriers with hard work. By becoming a Town Councillor at 24, becoming the youngest female Conservative Association Chairman in Wales and the youngest female Welsh Parliamentary MS Candidate at 25 years of age, I lead by example to show what we can achieve with dedication, a strong work ethic and utilising the support and advice that is available to you.

What kind of jobs have you had in the past?

My career path is quite humble and varied. I started in the hospitality sector at 16 and continued to work in bars and restaurants to support myself through university, where I also had a role in their student support services with learners who had visual impairments or used wheelchairs to assist them around campus. I then worked in the events field and moved into sales based roles before starting my current job within the constituency office of an MS here in North Wales.

As well as being a Town Councillor, volunteering for the party and serving on the CYW committee I also do some voluntary work for charity. I have helped out at a local foodbank and have been assisting elderly local residents throughout the pandemic via a community charity that I run. I also volunteer as a Childline Counsellor spending time listening to children and young people when they are in need.

All of these different roles mean I’ve met people from all walks of life and this has given me a wider perspective of everyday people’s wants, needs and views.

Why did you decide to stand for the Welsh Parliament/ Senedd?

In Wales we have been living under a Labour rule since the conception of the devolved Welsh Government in 1999, we have slipping Education standards, poorly run health services and a brain drain of skilled young people over the border into England for better job prospects. Wales deserves better.

Being an association chairman and a seasoned grassroots campaigner I felt I would be able to fight this election well, with the driving force of truly believing that improvement and change is needed and wanting to make a difference to my constituency of Alyn and Deeside and the North Wales area.

This is the first election where the voting age in Wales has been reduced to include 16 and 17 year olds, yet most typical candidates are middle aged. I decided to stand to particularly bring a representative to young people and to women who do not feel they have someone who can relate to them, to bring a fresh and different perspective in life to Welsh Politics and, of course, to help the Welsh Conservatives finally turn the Welsh Parliament (Senedd) blue.

What would you like to achieve as an MS?

Help close the North/ South Divide in Wales The Northwalian region is being left behind by the Cardiff centric labour-led Welsh Government.

Driving investment in local transport links Campaign for investment into local roads and better bus and train services.

Supporting businesses, protecting and creating jobs Support local businesses to survive and thrive throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Improving access to local health services Fight for reliable mental health services, GP accessibility and treatment provision locally

How have Conservative Young Women supported you in standing?

CYW is a brilliant and supportive network, through Conservative Young Women I have had access to ample training sessions and online seminars on how to get involved from grassroot level onwards, how to prepare for standing, for public life and what to expect.

Having this network of experienced women to reach out to for advice throughout my journey so far has been invaluable.

How do you think we can encourage more young women into politics?

I think by showing them what is possible and achievable, highlighting the work of the inspirational and strong women that we have within our party.

Women do face more barriers to get involved in politics, but we can use our platform to show them that it is a realistic ambition and through CYW and the Conservative’s Women’s Organisation offer them support, advice and encouragement to guide their path and find a role to suit them.

We need to work on breaking perceptions of what a typical tory politician is and challenge how elected representatives and those active within politics are allowed to be treated by the media and the public, making this a safer and more appealing field for all.

The key is not about quotas or female shortlists, it is empowering young women to see that they can make a difference to society by getting involved. Then when they do, giving them the confidence and tools to prepare them to be wholesome, well-rounded candidates ready to stand and serve in all aspects and levels of public life.

Conservative Young Women are dedicated to encouraging and supporting young women in the Conservative Party. We are on a mission to get more Conservative women into public office at every level and we provide support to anyone who wants to stand.

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