Stockport College were last week invited to the House of Lords by the Lord Speaker for the official launch of Parliament Week 2017. The co-ordinator of Parliament Week at the college, Michelle McLaughlin, went down to London to represent the college and has written this piece about her day at Parliament.
On 2nd November, by the invitation of the Lord Speaker, I attended the official launch of Parliament Week 2017. Our college was the only Further Education College invited to the launch – an honour indeed!
The Question Time event planned at Stockport College, and to be held on 15th November, was recognised as empowering the learner voice, by getting involved with activities that celebrate the liberal democracy we are part of. A democracy that looks to our young people to connect, collaborate and campaign for a better future both locally and nationally.
It was my great privilege to represent the college at this celebrated launch and make connections with other likeminded organisations working towards the same aims. Some of these organisations offering invitations to visit, and experience their work in making young people’s voices heard. Organisations like the Model Westminster Society, Durham University. The Muslim Council of Britain #morethanaprayerspace who promote inclusivity and sponsor community relations between all faiths and none. The Girl Guiding association who have planned events nationwide promoting the democratic process. Lego – the building blocks that young people play with to extend their creativity and develop skills for life. Amongst these groups were politicians and peers; at true celebration of our diverse and comprehensive society.
Following the launch, I attended in the public gallery, the debate in the House of Commons. Debating current issues like exiting the European Union, the plight of unaccompanied child refugees and sexual harassment. Witnessing democracy in action. These opportunities are open to our learners too.
In celebration and recognition of our Question Time Event, our local MP Ann Coffey was on hand in the Palace of Westminster to provide us with her opinion of our activities here at Stockport College. Ann was open and supportive of our endeavours, and heartened by our commitment to fostering and embracing British Values.
An incredibly memorable day cementing my pride in Stockport College.