From 1-7th November, hundreds of people from across the North East will hold more than 340 activities to celebrate the tenth anniversary of UK Parliament Week 2020.
UK Parliament Week is an annual festival that engages people from across the UK with their UK Parliament, exploring what it means to them and empowering them to get involved. Last year was the biggest event yet, with over 1.2 million people taking part. Activities took place in every one of the 650 constituencies across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and in 47 other countries around the world.
For this year’s UK Parliament Week, the focus is on the next 10 years, thinking about what issues are important to you and how you can work with UK Parliament to bring about change.
Community groups, local organisations and schools across the North East will run UK Parliament Week activities designed to appeal to their communities. Over 8,000 activities have already been signed up across the country, including with official partners such as Amnesty International, Girlguiding UK, Just Like Us (Schools Diversity Week), The Shaw Trust and many more. Activities include debating issues, holding votes and campaigning for change – all devised to help people across the UK learn more about Parliament and take an active role in their democracy.
MPs and members of the House of Lords will be supporting UK Parliament Week activities in the North East and with affiliated organisations, providing the public with the opportunity to engage with key decision-makers at the centre of British politics.
UK Parliament Week will be launching on Sunday 1st November with Make Your Mark, UK Youth Parliament’s annual ballot of young people. The nation-wide ballot gives young people aged 11-18 the opportunity to shortlist the topics they feel are the most important issues facing young people across the UK. Young people’s views will be gathered as part of a month-long campaign delivered by the British Youth Council in partnership with UK Parliament.
Also launching during UK Parliament Week are the annual Your UK Parliament Awards. Nominations will open to celebrate the amazing work of people taking action to connect their community with the UK Parliament and democracy.
Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, said:
“In my view, you can’t start early enough to get involved in democracy – and if you want to make things happen, you have to be a part of it.
“There is no better time than to start now – and UK Parliament Week is a great platform on which to talk about the things that are important to you.
“Let’s celebrate its 10th anniversary in style, by encouraging as many community groups, organisations and schools to join in – and let’s see how we as politicians can help you make changes that are relevant in the decade to come.”
The Lord Speaker, Lord Fowler, said:
“This 10th anniversary of UK Parliament Week is a brilliant opportunity to experience Parliament in action.
“I’d encourage community groups and schools to get involved in any way you can; hold a debate, write to a member of the Lords or Commons, invite them to talk to you, even if this has to be virtually – be part of the conversation about the next ten years for our country.
“Our communities and young people are always a source of inspiration and ideas. I, for one, want to hear what they have to say.”
Lynn Hobson, UK Parliament Outreach Officer for the North East said:
“Despite these challenging times, a huge number of schools, community groups and other organisations across the North East are taking part in UK Parliament Week this year, with online events available for many.
“It’s important that a wide range of voices can continue to be heard at Westminster and UK Parliament Week is a fantastic time to start thinking about how people in the North East can do just that – from engaging with MPs and Members of the House of Lords, to creating petitions, giving evidence and more.”