Jacqueline Juden is a Community Fundraiser at Guide Dogs. She attended a Transport Committee evidence session on the Bus Services Bill.
How were you contacted to give oral evidence?
Guide Dogs’ campaigns team were in touch with the Transport Select Committee when they heard about the launch of their inquiry into the Bus Services Bill. The campaign for audio visual announces has been a long-running one for the charity, and they’ve worked extensively with MPs and Peers on the issue. The team then spoke to me as they were aware it was an issue you felt strongly about, and had experience of living in cities with and without AV. I had previously supported this campaign by writing about my own experiences.
Had you given evidence to a select committee before?
I've not had the opportunity or confidence to do something like this before.
How did you prepare for the session?
I had a couple of meetings with the Guide Dogs’ campaigns team where we discussed the format of the select committee, giving me an understanding of how the session would run. We also covered some questions that I may be asked giving me a deeper understanding of what could be achieved.
How did you feel the session went?
I felt that the session went very well. It is such an important topic to me and was very interesting to hear the views of others in the room. It was also such a fantastic opportunity to have so many people listen to and take on board a very powerful message.
What was the outcome?/Did giving evidence help achieve your goals?
Being given the opportunity to share lived-experience of the difficulties of using inaccessible buses made a huge impact on MPs and Civil Servants, and played a significant role in changing Government policy. As well as committing to audio visual announcements in the Bus Services Act, the Government also made the issue a manifesto commitment at the general election.
Have you gained anything from the experience of giving evidence?
I would certainly say that I gained confidence speaking in such a setting. Although my current job can regularly involve public speaking, I was still quite nervous about doing this.
The opportunity to give evidence has helped me see that I can deliver an important message and that people will listen.
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