Young people amazed on Parliament tour
4th November 2015
On Monday, YMCA White Rose took a group of 17 young people and staff down to the Houses of Parliament for a tour by Bishop Steven Croft, Bishop of Sheffield. The young people were from the YMCA White Rose MyPlace Center in Rotherham and from Firth Park Academy in Sheffield. For the majority of the young people it was their first ever trip to London, and for the majority of the staff it was their first visit inside Parliament.
All were intrigued by what Parliament actually looked like inside, and were amazed by how much history was inside the history. Bishop Steven and Simon Stanley, who works for the Church of England's Parliamentary Committee, were able to explain in detail both the role that Bishop Steven plays in the House of Lords, alongside the history and the role that Parliament plays in the UK. Neither the House of Commons or Lords were sitting during our tour, so we were able to have a look inside both chambers - and were surprised at how small they actually were.
The young people were amazed at the history of the building, and all said that they would be taking more interest in Politics, even if it was only taking more interest when the House of Commons was mentioned on the news. A couple of the students are standing for head-boy and head-girl in their school this week, so they were especially interested in politics and the importance of democracy in society.
Jonathan Buckley of YMCA White Rose said, "It was great to see some of the young people's conceptions of Politics, Parliament and the roles of the Bishops and the Church within it change as a result of the tour. Many of the young people we took come from deprived areas of Rotherham and Sheffield, so we are grateful to those who have contributed financially to make the trip possible. We are especially grateful to Bishop Steven for giving his morning up to show us around Parliament."
For more information on the work of the YMCA, please visit www.ymcawhiterose.org.uk, or @ymcawhiterose (Twitter) or www.facebook.com/ymcawhiterose'.