What did UK Parliament Week teach us?
“Education is key” - it’s something that Savera UK’s patron Nazir Afzal OBE said at our Memorial Day Conference for those who were killed as a result of Honour Based Abuse last July. It’s something that has stuck with me during my time at Savera UK. It was this encouragement that fuelled Savera UK’s first involvement with UK Parliament Week where we hosted a Question Time event at Calderstones School with a group of their students.
UK Parliament Week is an initiative that takes place every year aimed to help civic organisations across the UK get involved in Parliament and UK democracy, as well as engaging people and allowing them to explore what Parliament means and empowering them to get involved. It is so vital for young people to understand their rights and also about the issues that Savera UK deal with on a daily basis, regardless of their background. Not only could that young person make a difference in their own lives if they are at risk, but could even make a difference in their peer group if they recognise others at risk.
Savera UK want to take the issue of harmful practices all the way to Number 10, so what better way to start than to incorporate our matters with the right of a young person and how harmful practices are a violation of those rights. Savera UK worked with a small group of Sixth Formers at Calderstones, informing them about harmful traditional practices and then teaching them to facilitate these issues to a younger group of students. A few weeks later, the Sixth Formers confidently presented harmful practices to a year 10 class with the aim to prepare questions that they would be able to ask to our panel at our Question Time event during UK Parliament Week in November. The panel included Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy, MP Luciana Berger, Former Chief Crown Prosecutor for North West England & the Patron of Savera UK Nazir Afzal, Labour Councillor Anna Rothery and Director of Biko Housing Association Tracy Gore. It was also chaired by BBC Radio Merseyside Political Reporter Claire Hamilton. The event was a great success and we couldn’t have done it without the support of Calderstones School, the panel guests and chair.
As a reward for the Sixth Formers, Savera UK organised a trip to the Houses of Parliament on 17th April 2018. The group of ten had a wonderful sunny tour around the premises, as well as getting to sit in at the House of Commons and hear the ‘Approval of Military Action in Syria’ talks with Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May present. After the tour, the young people took part in a People’s Parliament Workshop where they talked about campaigning and pressure groups. The facilitator even used the example of harmful practices and campaigning for issues that young people can care about in order to take the group full circle, bringing harmful practices to the forefront as a reminder of why the trip to Parliament took place. The young people had an amazing time, one student called it a “once in a life time trip”.
UK Parliament Week and our trip to Parliament strengthened our belief that it is important to pass down our knowledge and attitude to challenge issues about harmful practices to our young people. We need to keep the movement flowing throughout all generations in order to generate change everywhere.
If you would like Savera UK to inform the students of your school about Harmful Practices or even your staff, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0151 709 6588
To enable comments sign up for a Disqus account and enter your Disqus shortname in the Articulate node settings.