Young people to debate in Lords Chamber

08 July 2009

The Lord Speaker, Baroness Hayman, will chair a unique debate in the House of Lords Chamber this Friday, 10 July. In what will be the only time this year that non-Members have the opportunity to debate in the Lords Chamber, 200 young people from diverse backgrounds will debate topics around celebrating and defining talent and overcoming youth stereotypes

The debate will take place in the House of Lords Chamber at 4pm on 10 July and is expected to last one and a half hours.

Among the attendees is Zara, an 18 year old refugee, Linda, a 14 year old from London who has two disabled brothers and Theo, 22, who found himself homeless during his teenage years.

The debate is part of Shine Week, the national festive celebrating all talent in young people in association with The Bridge, an innovative youth project.

Shine was created by The Talent and Enterprise Taskforce, based at the Department for Children, Schools and Families. It is delivered by Creativity, Culture and Education.

The event in the Lords Chamber on 10 July is the third youth debate to be held in the House of Lords, following pilot events with the UK Youth Parliament in May 2008 and the English Speaking Union in May 2007.

The Lord Speaker, Baroness Hayman, said of the event:

“These young people have strong views on improving opportunities and on redefining what society means by talent. In the House of Lords we are looking forward to listening to and learning from them. We hope too to encourage more of them to pursue their passions and become the leaders of tomorrow.

"A key skill of Parliamentarians is having the confidence to speak out about things you believe in – hopefully this event will help to foster these skills. We are delighted to be supporting Shine Week, highlighting as it does the importance of the creativity and talent of young people”.

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