Veterans Debate Team & Students Invited to Visit Parliament
The Forward Assist Veterans Debating Team, which includes Students from Northumbria University Debating Society and several volunteers were invited to visit the Palace of Westminster in February this year as guests of Dave Anderson MP and Daniel Wood from the Parliamentary Outreach Team.
A guided tour of the House of Lords & the House of Commons was kindly facilitated by a member of Staff from the Lord Speakers Office. Baroness D' Souza is herself, a great supporter of this initiative which is part of Forward Assists 'Citizenship Reloaded' Portfolio and is aimed at improving Veterans ‘communication skills’ whilst also teaching them the art of Public Speaking to improve confidence and future employment prospects. At the same time the project educates former military personnel about the role of Government and the Parliamentary Outreach Team led by Daniel Wood attend the training sessions to educate the team about the wider aspects of Democracy and the Democratic process. We were also joined by documentary maker Chris Terrill who is a Patron of Forward Assist.
The group were invited to attend a private ‘Select Committee’ Q&A session with both Rory Stewart MP and Dave Anderson MP. During the meeting we were able to discuss Veteran related policies and the difficulties Veterans face during the transition from military service to civilian life. The group were then treated to a guided tour of the Imperial War Museum with Dan Jarvis MP and heard about his own journey from Combat Soldier to Member of Parliament. It was a fantastic experience and great way to finish 10 weeks of intensive Debate training which culminated in a final debate in Durham in November 2014.The team would like to take this opportunity to thank Dave Anderson MP, Daniel Wood, Baroness D’ Souza, Rory Stewart MP, Dan Jarvis MP and both the East Coast Train Company and William Hill PLC for the generous donation of free train tickets and kindness in covering accommodation costs.