Forward Assist Veteran Makes Closing Speech At House of Lords Debate.

In the 2013 Lords Chamber Event cadets and veterans from across the UK came together to have their say on defence and remembrance from the red benches. The event was held on Friday 29 November.

It was an inter-generational event involving participants aged 14-18 who were selected from the army, navy, air and combined cadet services, as well as veterans of all ages from the Royal British Legion including Wayne Bell from Forward Assist. Wayne was chosen to represent Forward Assist after winning the Forward Assist -Newcastle University final Debate in March 2013. He was also recently presented with an award by the TRBL as the regions best fundraiser prior to taking part in this event.

The debate focused on the important question: 'One hundred years after World War One, what is its legacy for the UK and how does it shape the nation today.' There were three angles for debate, led by three key teams:

  1. The UK is a more globally responsible nation 
  2. Society is more aware of the impact of war
  3. The UK has not learned from its experience.

The House of Lords worked with the English-Speaking Union (ESU) to devise and deliver the debate - training the key teams and floor speakers on the debate options. Ahead of the debate there were 16 regional talking days, giving the cadets and veterans the chance to meet, share experiences and discuss issues central to the debate.  

Following the talking days, selection heats were organised by the individual services and run by the ESU. The winners of each competition formed the key teams responsible for leading the chamber debate in the Lords.

Each key team comprised two cadets and a veteran. Key floor speakers who were called on in the debate were also selected through the heats. 

Wayne made the final speech of the event which was described by many as articulate and passionate and related his personal experiences of trying to cope with the transition from military to civilian life. The debate can be watched on You Tube at the following link:

http://www.youtube.com/ukhouseoflords

http://www.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/house-of-lords-25154515

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