On the 25th October The Youth Association took a group of young people to the Choose Youth rally in London to learn about the cuts to youth services, meet like-minded people and lobby their MPs for a review of the cuts.
We had a great day, including an entertaining rally in the Methodist Hall in Westminster, but I think most of the people would agree the highlights were meeting MPs (even if all their own MPs weren’t available).
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls was lobbied by Al and Emma, British Youth Council members and constituents, before jetting off on a fact-finding mission to America. He managed to give advice on local lobbying and a view into Labour’s stance on youth work cuts, all with his flight bag tucked behind his chair. So thankyou Mr Balls, for squeezing us in!
It wasn’t only the shadow chancellor that made the time. Our young people managed to meet Dan Jarvis, MP for Barnsley Central, Hillary Benn and Tim Loughton, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children, among others.
We’d like to thank all the MPs and aides that invited us into Westminster, listened and talked with us, allowing young people to petition them in the lobby between the House of Commons and the House of Lords (where the phrase ‘lobbying’ comes from).
We also managed to record a podcast of the young people’s journey, to be aired early next year, so keep checking back for details.