Our annual campaign, Give an Hour invites MPs to visit youth work projects in their constituency to see first-hand, the valuable impact youth work and youth workers make to the lives of young people. It is an opportunity for youth organisations to get under the nose of major decision makers and demonstrate why their work is important.
This year, with the support and enthusiasm of youth projects up and down the country we managed to get 27 MPs to take part in the campaign, including Shadow Minister for Education Rushanara Ali, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Rachel Reeves and Minister Esther McVey.
Here are some of the great things the MPs had to say after visiting the young people and youth work projects.
“During my visit to the Greenhill Youth Centre I saw first-hand just how much commitment and dedication the youth workers have for the young people.” – Andrew Bridgen MP for North West Leicestershire
“It was inspiring to see youth workers making such a positive impact on the young people of Huddersfield. It is so important for young people to learn the skills necessary to get a good job and live a good life, and youth workers play a large role in helping them achieve this.” – Barry Sheerman MP for Huddersfield
“This is a great bunch of young people already committed to having their say about local services. I hope the planned local Youth Parliament can help young people to have more influence on what happens in our town and our country.” – Fiona Mactaggart MP for Slough
“I thought the atmosphere was really positive, and what a fantastic bunch of young carers they are! I was also very impressed with the youth workers commitment and enthusiasm.” – Henry Bellingham MP for North West Norfolk
“I was really impressed and stayed for much more than an hour. I thought the session was exciting, provocative, thoughtful and very well constructed. I’m certain the students got a lot out of it. They were an enthusiastic bunch. I thought it was really worthwhile.” – Rt Hon Nick Brown MP for Newcastle upon Tyne East
“It’s easy for politicians to talk about the importance of volunteering and in this case the importance of youth clubs, but nothing beats participating and listening to those that benefit to understand the value of both.” – Nick de Bois MP for Enfield North
“The way the session was conducted was a great credit to the young people concerned, and the youth workers who supported them. It has certainly given me a great deal of food for thought as to how, as an MP, I can work better with young people in the future.” Rt Hon George Howarth MP for Knowsley
“I was incredibly impressed by the way the young people were responding to the mentors. ReachOut is a brilliant charity that helps build confidence, presentation skills, writing skills and more. I was also impressed by the speeches the young people gave and look forward to welcoming some of them in the Houses of Parliament as future MPs or perhaps even Prime Minister!” Rushanara Ali MP for Bethnal Green and Bow