By Samantha Acton, Director of Domestic Angels, a Bournemouth-based cleaning service
At Domestic Angels, all our staff know that we’re a Parliament Week partner. Each year they learn how to strengthen their own voice within and outside of the workplace, enhancing employee engagement. Everyone is client-facing and proud to discuss this commitment we make to the community, and how it draws together students, Councillors, local politicians and teachers.
As a business active within the local community, we are able to contribute towards crucial decisions and to get involved in planning our future. We also have the opportunity to lobby our local MP on matters of business and economic policy. It is crucial that the next generation of entrepreneurs are prepared to do the same.
For last year’s Parliament Week, we hosted an event which focused on engaging 13 to 18-year-old students – the next generation of entrepreneurs – as part of Parliament Week’s Do Democracy campaign. We gave the students a unique opportunity to debate and interact with politicians representing our area at a local, national and European level. The event was held at Bournemouth Town Hall, and attended by around 60 students and councillors, three MPs and an MEP.
In advance of the event, schools were briefed about the topics to be debated to allow the students to prepare their arguments. The event was split into three sections: first there was an interactive session to warmup the group. This was followed by a debate between the students and politicians. Finally, everyone was invited for tea and cake and to socialise with the politicians. The event broke down barriers, encouraged and enabled students to use their voice, and gave the politicians a crucial opportunity to hear the opinions of the next generation of voters.
The event was possible due to the commitment and investment of local stakeholders. Bournemouth Council provided the venue and staffing assistance via the democratic services team. Morgan Sindall Investments provided vital financial support to make the event a real experience including social media support, filming and PR. And the Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce supported the event with staffing assistance and contributions.
Personally, I highly recommend the opportunity of becoming a Parliament Week partner to anyone. In particular I would like to encourage more businesses to get involved and use this opportunity to connect with your communities.
I’m so very proud to have made my company Domestic Angels a Parliament Week partner. Our motivation is found within our corporate framework valuing dignity, life-balance and making a positive difference in other people’s lives including those of our customers and our staff. We believe in having a voice, using our voice and encouraging others to use theirs.