The Joining up Joining In project welcomed Malcom from UK Parliament to host and deliver a workshop on the Parliamentary system as part of raising Parliamentary and Campaign awareness for everyone involved with the project. He brought new ideas of ways that we as a group can campaign to raise the voice of care experienced young people.
Before todays session I didn't really think about why I needed to vote, I didn't see the point in voting as it wouldn't make a difference anywaysParticipant
What came out of the session:
As part of our ten-week programme we invited Malcolm from UK Parliament to come down to our building at Leicestershire Cares to deliver a session to our CEYP to inform them of the different aspects of the Parliamentary process. This included information about its history, why the seats in the House of Commons and Lords were different colours and how we could go view and watch a parliamentary session from the balcony. This was to tie in with a trip to see Parliament held by another group, and to equip us better as a team with the young people to direct and construct any campaigns we may develop in the future.
This session also brought about discussion of the voting process and whether people want or enjoy participating in both local and general elections. This discussion has inspired the title of the news story with one CEYP encouraging everyone to participate in the electoral process because “its worth a try [to make change]”.
Learning about Parliament and Parliamentary sessions further made this statement so poignant. Malcolm had found something that he thought would be of interest to the group. It was a Parliamentary session discussion where an MP was answering the question on whether there would be an age limit on when a CEYP could get support to have their own house. This is a current and relevant topic to the group on whether they could have their own home, what support they could get to achieve this and when they could potentially do this. For many young adults and individual wanting permanent housing this question is a pressing issue of concern about what is being done to support young people obtain social housing or in some cases a place on the property ladder. It is a question of security and stability that many wish to have certainty over. In this instance the group decided that the answer given was unsatisfactory for what they need to know and their future.
Nevertheless, the emotion that came from this spurred the session on to focus on how important it was to bring the voice of CEYP to discussions such as this so that the lived experience can help shape policy and but also be acknowledge in issues concerning the public.
"It was great to understand the difference between government and parliament, to be honest I didn’t know there was a difference. I also found it great to know there are specific people in parliament to contact for specific issues such as leaving care"Participant
Malcom has supported us in gaining the tools to being able to know the steps to get the attention of Parliament. We know the MPs that could support action and take questions to parliament. We know the MPs in our constituencies. We know the pathways to get a petition read in Parliament. This all fits in with our plan and purpose for this project. For young people to become involved in campaigns and to participate in groups, to increase awareness of how parliament and government works, and support young people establish their voices in these narratives.
Considering the recent protected characteristic work, we have been doing with the group, Malcom showed them the current petition to get the questions surrounding the legalisation of Care experience as a protected characteristic discussed in parliament. As of the day of writing there were 209 signatures so there’s a far way to go but the young people have expressed interest in making it their mission to grow that number. As a starting point the, the link to sign the petition is highlighted below.
You don’t have to agree but let’s get it discussed.
For more information or to get involved in the Joining up Joining in Project please contact:
Krishna@leicestershirecares.co.uk or firstname.lastname@example.org