Thank you to everyone who took part in Parliament Week 2015, from organisations that helped to create such an exciting and varied programme, to those who attended events and activities, debated, discussed and shared their opinions. It was an amazing week, and fantastic to see so many people from across the UK taking part.
The week kicked off with the sitting of the UK Youth Parliament in the House of Commons Chamber. Members of the UK Youth Parliament (MYPs) debated five issues chosen by the annual Make Your Mark ballot, in which 969,000 young people voted. At the end of the debate the MYPs chose working together to combat racism and religious intolerance as the issue for its national campaign for 2016 and mental health was chosen as the priority campaign for England.
Parliament Week really began in earnest on Monday 16 November. During the week there were 131 events and activities all over the UK, including political debates, walks, film screenings, exhibitions and performances. Highlights included a tea party on democracy, politics and ethics held at the Bishopsgate Institute in London; a discussion about Tyneside Radicalism in Story and Song; a Debate on Democracy organised by the Northern Ireland Youth Forum; and an event about the future of European democracy in Edinburgh.
Libraries celebrated the week with information stands and displays of books about politics.
Girlguiding groups across London and the South East ran sessions about Parliament and democracy, with a special Parliament Week badge for those who took part.
Schools across the country also took part in Parliament Week. Cliftonville Primary School in Thanet hosted a day of political debate; Marus Bridge Primary took part in a day of activities about Parliament and democracy organised by Wigan Borough Council; and sixth-formers from Appleby Grammar school in Westmorland met with Rory Stewart MP for a chat about politics, policies and the political challenges of living in a rural area. We are always so delighted to see so many schools take part, and to use Parliament Week as an opportunity to engage students with democracy.
MPs from across the UK and Members of the House of Lords took part by visiting schools, taking part in our partners’ events, showing their support on social media and in local press. It was great to see so many MPs and Members of the House of Lords show their support for Parliament Week.
Parliament Week also attracted a lot of support through social media. During November, our Parliament Week Twitter account made over 409,000 impressions and our Facebook page now has over 1,051 likes. Our #DoDemocracy hashtag also reached 3.6 million social media users from the sitting of the UK Youth Parliament to the end of Parliament Week.
As always, we are immensely grateful to our partners, who not only made Parliament Week happen, but made it so diverse, engaging and valuable. Thank you and we look forward to working with you again for Parliament Week 2016!