MANY people think the life of a politician is boring and they do no 'real' work, but Jack Sargeant has proven otherwise.

I was lucky enough to shadow the Deeside Assembly Member for a couple of days during a visit to Cardiff, and it just reinforced how wrong that 'boring' perception is.

One thing that surprised me was the sheer determination to do what he can to help.

The day started early, going through plans and from then on it was meeting after meeting. The team always had people in the office - whether internal or external - or Jack was raising questions/debating on issues to help not just his constituents but Wales as a whole. He barely stopped to take any time for himself.

I was also taken aback at the quick turnaround. Journalism runs on a tight schedule, but Jack often would need a speech written within a matter of minutes.

He told me: "I'd like to think we're making a difference and are doing a great job and hope people think that too.

"I pledged to be a strong voice for Alyn and Deeside in the Assembly Chamber, whether that be through answering questions or doing what I can to make something happen, like working behind fighting for local government."

Despite winning his post by a majority, some members of his party did not vote for him.

He said without support from his family he wouldn't have gone for the role, but didn't feel pressured to do it.

The 25-year-old added: "People vote how they see fit, many said I was too young and what experience did I have but I think we're doing a good job and we came here to do a job of representing the people of Alyn and Deeside."

Like many others, I used to take the view that all politicians are the same, they pretend to be someone they aren't to get votes - until I went to Cardiff.

I went down to quiz Jack on who he really is away from the AM title, but I hold my hands up to say Jack Sargeant AM and Jack from the Quay are one and the same.

I've seen the Deeside AM inside the Senedd and on a night out with friends and family, and I was pleasantly surprised to realise he is who he says he is.

He proudly told me: "I don't think I'm any different to anyone else. I'm the same as I was two years ago, and I think that's the right way to be.

"Some people could come here and change, I would like to think I haven't changed, I still enjoy the same things and have the same friends.

"Being an AM is a job and it's a proud job I'm doing but as far as I'm concerned, I'm just Jack from the Quay."

Jack, known locally as Jacko or Sarg, travels to Cardiff every Sunday/Monday and heads back on a Thursday and he said the most difficult thing is being away from home, adding: "Cardiff can be a lonely place for many people, I'm lucky to have good friends down here within the Assembly and outside.

"A lot of the time I take work home with me. It's 24 hours this job, but I like to do the same as anyone at my age - I like going to watch football and now and then will go for a pint with my mates."

The Newcastle supporter said if he wasn't an AM, he would still be doing a part-time master's degree in engineering and would be a research and development engineer, which is what he was doing previously.

Despite entering a different role, Jack has taken it on and pledged to do what he can for Wales, including introducing a kinder politics, continue his late father's work surrounding the White Ribbon campaign, which works with men and boys to end male violence against women and girls, and raise awareness of mental health.

He said: "This year I will continue to tackle the same areas. I think locally I will focus on ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences), County Lines and working alongside the police inspector. It's ever-changing because we never know what constituents want to focus on.

"It can feel like I'm fighting a losing battle sometimes, but a lot of people have spoken about kinder politics and a lot of people have been trying to move towards that.

"We can disagree with people but can do it in a respectable way. The most important thing for me is we are having those conversations."

I asked Jack if he would run again if given the chance and he said he's not in this job for a one-time thing, adding: "I came here to do a job and I've said I'd like to go for selection again and run again for the community. I don't know how long I'll do this job for, no one knows but I'm committed.

"In 10 years, I would see myself with no hair because I haven't got much now but I don't know to be honest. Circumstances change and I think I know more than anyone how things can change in a matter of seconds.

"Last year I wouldn't have expected I would be in this position. I'd like to support the community for as long as they want me to."

I also had the honour of speaking to close friends of Jack, who all had only good things to say about him.

Jack Bailey told me: "He's the same person he's always been, always willing to have a laugh and good at jokes. One of the best moments was a last-minute winning goal - he's always talking about that.

"He's always happy to spend time with mates and listening to how our jobs are going and telling us how his is going."

Keith Jones, senior advisor to Islwyn AM Rhianon Passmore, said Jack is always doing things for others, from bringing in chocolate to asking how they are, adding: "He's like a brother to me."

Guto Davies, senior advisor, said: "People don't see politicians as real people. Some change once they enter public office but Jack has stayed the same."

Hats off to Jack and the team who work endlessly, often taking their jobs home with them to ensure they meet the needs of not only Alyn and Deeside constituents, but the whole of North Wales, and beyond.