Posted: 27 December 2012

Walking into Westminster


Someone was actually listening

I have spent the last couple of weeks supporting families and young people attending a parliamentary inquiry into the asylum support system. I am stood outside Westminster Hall chatting to a witness who has spent the morning answering questions from a panel of MPs, Peers and sector leaders. She told me:

‘It was really stressful, but I am so glad I came down and gave evidence. It felt like someone was actually listening to what I had to say and that they wanted to change things for the better.’

Her words remind me of just how important it is for organisations, like The Children’s Society, to give vulnerable, disadvantaged children and young people a voice on the issues that matter most.

Walking into Westminster

I am still getting used to walking into the cavernous Westminster Hall. I was so overwhelmed on my first visit that I walked straight into a wall. A nearby police officer assured me that it happens all the time!

Here is the historical bit...The Hall was built in 1097 under William II, the son of William the Conqueror. You get a real sense of its role in British history as you walk through the hall and into the committee rooms. Plaques on the floor mark key events and tour guides chat about how the major institutions of the British state - Parliament, the law courts and government offices – developed around the hall.

Does it really make a difference?

This probably sounds really geeky, but I enjoy attending the All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) and inquiries. Watching people come together to discuss issues, question each other, share good practice and talk about things that they feel passionate about is really interesting. 

Parliament is open to the public and I would really encourage you to go along and find out how it all works. If you are feeling inspired why not get involved in one of our fantastic campaigns.




By Lynne Wooley - Policy team

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