Dear Editor, In the last year, along with hundreds of thousands of others nationwide, including hundreds in Newton Aycliffe, I joined the Labour Party. I would like to share my personal experiences as a new member with other new and potentially new, Labour members in Aycliffe. Under Corbyn the Labour Party has now become the largest political party in western Europe and has reestablished itself to become not just a political party, but a grassroots people’s movement, ready to bring real change to benefit ALL the people of the UK, not just a few. Already we have seen the political narrative change drastically in the last twelve months in response to an effective Labour opposition, with the Tories u-turning on some of their most cruel, disastrous and divisive policies. The changes to modernize the party have not been easy and are far from over, but as well as the new leadership and direction, the party needs those that have joined to actively contribute and help push forward the campaign to get us into government, so we can make those radical changes needed that can take the us forward and make that new positive vision of the future possible. If like me, you are a new member, then please contact your local party representative to make sure they have your correct details so they can inform you of meetings and events in the area. As it can be a bit intimidating for some people to join well established groups, I can reassure new members that as a new member myself, I have been warmly welcomed at meetings and my contributions well received. Personally I would like to see more female members and young members come along to meetings so their views and opinions can be reflected better at the grassroots level. So, if you are a new Labour Party member, please come along to meetings and have your say, we need to hear your voices, and if you don’t want to come alone, get a friend to join too and come along together! I look forward to seeing you all at the next meetings. Kathryn Beetham