100 young people from Erdington in Birmingham travelled to London today (October 22nd) to debate their “Manifesto for the future” in Parliament in the annual Erdington Youth Parliament
Many of the 100 young people who travelled to London for the event were drawn from schools and colleges in the north of the city. These included North Birmingham Academy, King Edward VI Aston and South & City College, as well as some from Aspire Sports Trust.
They were accompanied by two youth workers from local community development charity Urban Devotion.
The group met with Erdington MP Jack Dromey, and the Speaker of the House, John Bercow. They debated issues including violence, knife crime and homelessness.
On Twitter, Dromey said “100 young people from
#Erdington are right now travelling to #London to debate in #Parliament their Manifesto for the future. In tough times the #Erdington Youth Parliament is their platform.”
Lindford George Jr, the Youth Outreach Coordinator at Urban Devotion, who travelled to London with the young people, said:
“It was a great opportunity for the young people to engage in public speaking, to speak about something they were passionate about, to experience politics, to realise that they had a voice and that they can use their voice to accomplish great things in their local community.
The young people were given a mini-tour of the Houses of Parliament with event organiser Jack Dromey MP.
“John Bercow came and did a speech and encouraged the young people that politics is a place for them, that they do have a voice. He encouraged the young people to stick to their passion.
It was amazing to see young people so passionate and knowledgeable about current local, national and global events, to see them articulately defend their views and express their beliefs and convictions – it was inspiring. To see them relish this challenge, it was exciting”
Local community leader Sharon Thompson and Preet Gill, the first female Sikh MP representing Birmingham, both gave speeches at the event.
Lindford hopes there will be another Erdington Youth Parliament next year.