15 young people were followed over the biggest year of their lives, online and on Channel 4. Share their experiences here...

Your comments

We’ve loved hearing from you guys!

Over the year all your advice and support has been amazing. Thank you all so much for your great comments. Your own experiences and opinions have played a vital part in the Year Dot journey and for that we’d like to give you guys one big shout out. THANKS for making it such a special year!

What do you think?

Your Comments

Are you still the Labour Party candidate for Ripon?

Patrick Heaney (1876 days ago) Report Comment

Hi Claire, I watched Year dot for the first time this morning (off school and hating it-everyone is being nice to me of course but i like being in school!) and really enjoyed it you are in a place where i would like to see myself when i am your age i really look up to you and wish you good luck!!
Laura 14, Northern Ireland

Laura (1892 days ago) Report Comment

My advice? OK -

1. Leave Labour, they are an authoritarian party hell-bent on turning the UK into a police state.

2. Don't stand for parliament until you are at least 35 - I want MP's who have lived in the real world, not some opinionated kid just out of uni in parliament making the rules. An MP in there 20's? That's just a joke.

3. Join a political party because you believe in it's ideology, not for a "pay-off".

David (1979 days ago) Report Comment

Join the LibDems? They at least have a future even if Labour does not.

Josh (2002 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of Claire HazelgroveHi Mark and Mitch,

Thank you for your support! It's amazing to see how many of you watch the show, and if a few more young people think 'actually, I could do that too', then constantly fighting against the number of people, just like that man behind me on the BBC 5 Live show, is completely worth it.

It's not always easy being in amongst the first to tread any path, particularly when the established system has been plodding along in this old boy way for so long - but small changes, and seeing more young people getting involved on the doorstep shows that we're here to stay.

Juggling all this with my degree isn't exactly fun, but I really can't just sit back and wait until someone comes knocking and says ''well Claire, now it's your 35th birthday, you may now talk about the issues that matter.'' I guess in some way lots of us have priorities and interests outside of our regular 9-5 existences, and thank goodness! We'd all be drones otherwise.

Thanks again. Keep in touch!


Claire Hazelgrove (2088 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of Claire HazelgroveHi Brett,

Thanks for getting in touch. I actually hate the fact that elections can come down to 'who has the most cash' and feel that parties being bankrolled by rich individuals really doesn't do much to strengthen our democracy.

One thing that the Obama campaign did that was excellent was to refuse donations from lobbyists and other interest groups, because Obama didn't want to feel pressurised by them to act in their interests when taking office. A strong example to set that hopefully others will follow.

The campaign did accept small donations, usually $5-$10, from individuals on the campaign website, and I thought that was actually quite good, because that way individual people could show their support, and that's something that most parties already do here.

It's a hard decision to make - resrict each party to a certain amount of fundraising when the people want to give more because they believe in the cause, or allow the floodgates to open, and fundraising to be limitless.

Elections should be fought, won and lost as a battle of ideas - no more, no less. And this is what we're placing in the balance by allowing funding to be so pivotal to our democratic system.

I honestly think that it's a real shame that whilst my party is in millions of pounds of debt, the Conservatives will probably be able to afford a stronger campaign than us due to their uber rich financiers. No party should be priced out of an election, and I think it will be a sad day if we allow this to happen.

It's a tough question, but as long as we make sure that democracy and fairness are our priorities, then hopefully the impact of campaign finance can become less electorally decisive.

Hope that helps.

Thanks again,


Claire Hazelgrove (2088 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of Claire HazelgroveHi Steve,

Skipton isn't exactly a 'traditionally' Labour seat, but I always believe that everyone has the right to be able to vote for whichever party they support and so it's completely worthwhile standing, and hopefully some other young people will be encouraged to do so too.

I'd like to hope that I can bring a fresh perspective to both the old and new issues facing people in the area today - as it is inevitably harder for older politicians to understand the pressures that, for example, students face not only in terms of debt, but trying to get jobs and somewhere to live during an economic downturn. Also, issues like climate change are ones that will effect our generation more and so we should be involved in the debate. As a 'representative chamber', I think it's important to have more people in Parliament of all ages, from all walks of life.

This election is going to be slightly different anyway as recently David Curry, the Tory MP who has had the seat for 21 years, has announced that he won't be standing again at the next election, and last week the Liberal Democrat candidate stood down too - so I'm actually the only parliamentary candidate in place at the minute.

This will hopefully give us a real chance to take the lead on shaping debate in the area, as a change will be coming to Skipton and Ripon no matter who is elected, and so why not give it a real go, as it's not often a Labour candidate in a seat like this has been there the longest.

It would be great if any of you wanted to get involved, we'll be going out door-to-door up until the county council and European elections on June 4th and it would be great to see some more young people out there!



Claire Hazelgrove (2088 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of Claire HazelgroveHi Jess and Joe,

Thanks for the comments. Naturally the cameras are only with me a few times a month and so can't catch everything (which is probably for the best) but of course it's harder for you guys to see what I've been doing outsde of the video clips.

I've actually been to meetings on the reopening of the Skipton-Colne line and the SELRAP campaign is really strong and they're fighting a really good case and so I hope they do reopen in and will carry on supporting the campaign in any way I can.

Joe, you're quite right, the Skipton-Leeds trains aren't great, but at least they're pretty regular. The current education system certainly isn't working to the advantage of all in the area and we're actually focusing on allowing local parents to have a ballot on the local education system in the upcoming county council elections in June, and if you wanted to get involved/share your story about how the system has affected you then please just send me a myspace message and I'm sure we could sort something out.

Thanks again,


Claire Hazelgrove (2088 days ago) Report Comment

Hi Claire Just seen you on yeardot catch up and I think its reallllllllllly good how determined you are. I could have gone mad at the guy on BBC Radio live who question your age/ability - its just a classic example how young people are underespresented in UK politics and I think more young people should actually get involved.. Even if I would persaude them to go blue ;)
Keep going!!

Mitch (2091 days ago) Report Comment

Just want to say, Ive been wwatching the Year Dot and i think Claire does an amazing job... Shes very commited to what she does and will do anything to get to where she wants to be, and also to get practice - which proves this by when she travels to the USA to work on the Obama course. WELL DONE CLAIRE, especially with the pressure you are going threw with your exams... I back you up all the way!

Mark Donaldson (2099 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of Claire HazelgroveHi Barbara,

Thanks for letting me know about the concert you're putting on at Wembley. Unfortunately I cannot see your email address, it's just the website people who can, so if you send me your email address in a myspace message I'll certainly be in touch.


Claire Hazelgrove (2100 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of Claire HazelgroveHi everyone,

Thanks for your messages, and apologies for not having gotten back to you sooner (the joys of finals approaching...) but hopefully I'll be able to answer most of your questions now...

Hi Tom - great to hear that you're standing for your school council. I was on mine for a while and it's amazing how much the teachers take things on board that you put forwards, as sometimes it's helpful for them to hear things from another perspective. One way of trying to get people on board is by going and talking at the start of individual classes. Pick a few key ideas that you think are the most important to everyone in the school and the more you talk about them, the more you'll become associated with them. Also, posters with your experience and ideas are a good idea. Sweets and cakes work can also wonders in school elections...good luck!


Claire Hazelgrove (2100 days ago) Report Comment

Hello claire, my name is Barbara and I am putting on a concert at wembley Stadium, Mr Obama has been requested to be there. Please get in touch with me via my email address.
So we can talk. Also luv your show well done...


barbara king (2101 days ago) Report Comment

Very interesting program Claire, I found your enthusiasm for politics refreshing.
Just some feedback, the ramifications of foreign individuals providing aid for presidential campaigning at the expense of democracy, should have been highlighted by a member of the Barrack campaign branch or your own labour party.
From your hands on experience, what is your view of the massive amounts of money spent on US presidential campaigning? Should the English system follow this path or avoid it?

Brett Rosenbaum (2102 days ago) Report Comment

Hi Claire, I've been reading your blog etc and I'm very interested in what you are doing. However I think this page focuses too much upon you, especially the fact that you are a lot younger than your average candidate, and not enough upon where you stand upon important issues, and what you are going to do once you become an MP. I think this typical in politics today, where the tendency in the media has been to focus on politicians' personalities rather than their stance on particular issues. To demonstrate to the people of Skipton and Ripon that you understand their needs, I think you need to publicise your views on issues that affect them rather than heavily publicising yourself as a 20 year old politician. I wish you the best of luck in the election and hope that you can demonstrate that you a are good candidate for Skipton and Ripon.

Jess (2102 days ago) Report Comment

Hi claire. I just caught the last bit of your show on channel 4 and it's the first time I've heard about you. I'm from Skipton, I was born and raised there but I now live in near by Leeds. I wish you all the best in what you're doing but in all honesty I think you have little chance in winning the next general election there but I'd love for you to prove me wrong. I hate to be the sceptic but people really aren't very forward thinking in Skipton. I don't know how much you'd value my opinion seeing as I no longer live there but I'd really like to see an end to the grammar school system in the area, as someone who attended Aireville secondary modern I feel that the system has hindered me in my life. Also some issues regarding trains that I know would be vote winners are; the reopening of Cross Hills train station, the reopening of the Skipton to Colne line and nighttime trains between Leeds and Skipton, especially on the weekend.

Joe (2102 days ago) Report Comment

Just seen today's episode of yeardot. Well done. Its one thing being interested in active politics and another being actively interested in politics. I'm currently a second year law student but have always harboured strong political aspirations and hope to realise them in the very near future. Best of luck...see you in Westminster :)

Scott (2102 days ago) Report Comment

Dear Claire,
I am a young boy in secondary school I am running for school counsiller. of my year group of 300 I am running against 9 other students for 5 places I feel as though I can really make a difference in the school I have made my speech already but I am not sure what else i can do, could you please give some tips.

Tom (2102 days ago) Report Comment

Claire, loved your story so far. I hope this does not sound odd, but you obviously have no chance of winning in Skipton & Ripon at the next general election, but will you carry on and try to gain selection to a more winnable seat in the future to further your political career?

steve (2114 days ago) Report Comment

Hi Claire,
I think you are doing an excellent job, as a young person to be involved with something that could change your local community and then in the future, into something major. Have you ever thought of doing a survey on the streets, or posting one through your local community doors, to find out if young people are voting and why they would choose to vote for a particular party? What would their reason be?

Luke Mose (2126 days ago) Report Comment

Hi Claire
I've been reading about you and am impressed. Though not in your age group anymore, I was always interested in politics from a young age as it seemed a bit dumb not to be! It drives me crazy when people say smugly "I don't care about politics." Such people ought never complain about anything in modern life ever again! Also wanted to let you know about an organisation I campaign for - Simpol. Too much to explain here, but basically it's a system for achieving international cooperation - sort of like global democracy but spearheaded by the collective citizenry. Check out the website and let me know what you think. We already have 27 UK MPs pledged to support our concept and many more candidates. WE also have politicians and intellectuals around the world that have endorsed the campaign. Would love to have you on board! Keep up the great work. www.simpol.org and www.simpol.org.uk

Diana Trimble (2129 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of Claire HazelgroveHi Alex,

Thanks for your comments, it's good to hear from someone who sees the current political staus-quo in a similar way. Young people, and people from all different backgrounds have a lot give and hopefully really can put forward an alternative and progressive, contemporary perspective and help to open up the political system a bit more.

Are there any issues in particular that you feel politicians could focus more on, or that you would like me to focus on?

Thanks again,


Claire Hazelgrove (2130 days ago) Report Comment

This message board is like a communist election, with me being the only candidate. Is anyone else out there? You could be looking at the first MP without grey hair. Get involved.

Alex Flahive (2133 days ago) Report Comment

My perception of politics in the UK is one of inaccessibility and barriers.

I was surprised to read about Clare's position; maybe I missed the press noise about it? Was there any? Maybe Akilah can solve that...

The House of Commons is supposed to be representative, but I believe in many ways it isn't. I hope Clare brings some Obama style change to the age aspect. A balance needs to be struck between this and the experience that comes with grey hair.

Alex Flahive (2134 days ago) Report Comment