TALENTED YOUNG people who completed Debbie Abrahams MP’s Working for Your Community Summer School were presented with certificates by a guest of honour.
Bryn Hughes, father of PC Nicola Hughes from Diggle who was murdered on duty, awarded the ‘graduation’ certificates to the eleven 18 to 24 year olds who took part in the programme.
The participants spent two weeks at the summer school and on work experience placements learning the skills required to develop their own community-action campaigns.
They enjoyed a visit to Parliament, meeting Labour leadership contender Andy Burnham and other MPs, their staff and many more experts in local organisations.
Mrs Abrahams said: “I’m very grateful to Bryn for being our guest of honour and taking the time to talk to our participants about the campaigning skills he’s had to learn since setting up a memorial fund in Nicola’s name.
“It’s an incredible achievement that since he set up the charity in March 2014 he’s raised around £300,000 for charities.
She added: “It’s been a real pleasure to organise my second Summer School for another group of motivated young people.
“They’ve been really eager to learn more about politics and share in my passion for creating community-based action inOldham and Saddleworth which can help tackle important local issues and shape all our futures.
“Everyone has, according to the organisations that have helped us by providing work experience, really thrown themselves into the projects they have been assigned to.”
Mr Hughes said: “It was a real pleasure to be asked to meet Debbie’s summer school participants and present them with their certificates.
“It’s heart-warming to see so many young people who are eager to make a difference in their own community.
“The concept, which shows young people they can make a real difference in their local community, is brilliant and I hope to be involved again next year as one of the local organisations providing a placement.”
After the graduation ceremony some of the participants spoke about their experiences at the Summer School.
James Parker, from Saddleworth who did his placement at Voluntary Action Oldham, said: “I really enjoyed the summer school and I got a lot out of it.
“I think most significant thing was getting to meet politicians and see politics from a more personal and close-up angle than you usually do.
“I really enjoyed the trip to Parliament and thought getting to ask Andy Burnham questions was probably the most unique experience of the summer school.”
Alice Fidler, also from Saddleworth, who was placed at Positive Steps, said: “I had a really good time at the summer school.
“I thought it was really interesting to find out about how politics works not only at a parliamentary and governmental level but also at a grass roots level. It’s really inspired me to get more involved with my local community.”