The award ceremony was hosted by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP. Award winners were chosen by the Speaker, and a panel of MPs and independent judges from entries sent in by schools, community groups and organisations all over the UK.
Rt Hon John Bercow MP, The Speaker of the House of Commons, said:
“All of the winners should be immensely proud of themselves. Their stories will help inspire others to take action.”
David Clark, Head of Education and Engagement at UK Parliament, said:
“The awards celebrate people and communities’ positive engagement with the UK Parliament. We were delighted to see so many inspiring submissions from across the UK. The winners demonstrate the power of having their voices heard to engage and influence the UK Parliament.”
Among the winners was Arthur Wood, Deputy Head of Juniors at Ashbridge School in Preston, who won the Teacher Ambassador Award. He said:
“It’s a huge privilege and honour to accept this award for Teacher Ambassador, but I wouldn’t have had the chance to receive this were it not for the support of countless other people who have guided, facilitated and contributed to activities that I have led.
“If we want to engage people with the democratic process we need to allow them to experience the importance of democracy and the role of Parliament from an early age. Children need to grow into the realisation that this is their Britain, their democracy, their Parliament and it is for them to take a participative role, whatever that may be.
“This is what I think the Parliament Education Service does so well, and it is what I have sought to do through my Teacher Ambassador role.”
Gareth Watson, Chief Commissioner for ScoutsCymru, which won the UK Parliament Week Award, said:
“It’s great seeing so many young people from many different areas across Wales taking part and learning how important democracy is to their lives. Taking the Scouts to Parliament, and being at the heart of democracy, is something they will never forget.”
Francis Taylor, Passport to Parliament lead at Become which won the Community Campaigner Award, said:
“With over 72,000 children in the care system in England and over 10,000 leaving care every year we believe it’s vital that these young people are encouraged and empowered to strengthen their voice, and that is why we are so delighted that the UK Parliament Awards has recognised the important work we have been doing with our Passport to Parliament project.
“Many children in care feel like they have very little say in the decisions made about their lives at a local and a national level – and we work to change that. This award will help us to highlight the vital importance of these young people playing a key role in shaping the care system so that life outcomes for young people in care can be improved.”
Rachael Farrington, 21, a politics graduate from Brunel University who set up Voting Counts at 17, which won the Digital Democracy Award, added:
“I’m really pleased to receive this recognition from the UK Parliament, as it is the institution we are trying to get people engaged with. We brought volunteers for the website from across the country, all young people from Nottingham, Brighton and Cardiff, it was a great way of motivating the team and giving them an opportunity to see Parliament.”
Biddenham International School & Sports College, won The Speaker’s School Action Award.
This award recognises fantastic projects which have had a positive impact on schools or local communities. This special award is sponsored by the Speaker of the House of Commons.