Scouts join the debate

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Scouts join the debate

Scouts from across the UK attended the Liberal Democrat Conference in Brighton this weekend, where MPs received a gentle grilling from young people.

Getting their voices heard

The first of this year’s Scouts Speak Up events took place on Sunday, which gave those inspired by Scouting to make a difference the chance to talk to MPs. The events are entirely youth led and give young people the opportunity to debate with politicians on the issues that really matter to young people today.

Issues discussed on the weekend included proposed changes to GCSEs, the political situation in Syria and the perception of young people in the media.

MPs were also told by young people how Scouting enriches their lives and their local communities. Many talked about how the skills they've learned in Scouting helped them to find employment.

'Together, we're stronger'

Hannah, an Explorer Scout, attended the weekend's event. She said, 'I had one of the best days in my Scouting life so far; being able to go to the Liberal Democrats party conference and make them listen to my views, and what young people feel.'

Abigail, a 16-year-old Explorer Scout from Goring, West Sussex said, 'It's great that young people have the opportunity to tell politicians what we think, and for them to listen. It is important that young people have a say, and events like today’s is a great step forward.'

Chief Scout Bear Grylls commented on the importance of the events: 'Events like this are really important. I want members to feel empowered to fulfil their dreams and ambitions, valued for the contribution they make and proud of everything they do. For all those campaigning for a fairer deal for young people and Scouting I say well done, keep at it and don't give up. Together, we're stronger.

The next two Scout Speak Up events will take place on:

  • Sunday 30 September 2012 Labour conference, Manchester
  • Sunday 7 October 2012 Conservative conference, Birmingham

If you'd like to find out more about events like this, or want help engaging your local representatives, please contact us at citizen@scouts.org.uk

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