UpRisers Take Parliament!

UpRisers Take Parliament!

June 4, 2018

This spring, during UpRising’s 10th year,  over 100 UpRisers from across the country made their way to Parliament to ask tough questions to civil servants and Members of Parliament and learn just how their voice can be heard at a national level.


UpRising London, Birmingham & Cardiff 2017/18 Leadership Programmes

UpRising London, Birmingham & Manchester 2017/18 Environmental Leadership Programmes

Bringing UpRisers to Parliament is a central part of the Leadership Programme Curriculum since laws passed by Parliament and decisions made by central government have a huge impact at a local level. Understanding the processes behind laws and policies and how to influence policy-makers is integral for all aspiring leaders, particularly in considering how local regions can leverage their influence to have an impact on decisions made centrally.

In the true spirit of UpRising, one of the recurring themes in all 4 panel discussions was diversity and representation in politics. UpRisers asked questions including: “What obstacles come with not being born in this country and how did you overcome them?” and “How can you best represent those without a voice?”

Who better to contribute to this discussion other than; our Chair, Rushanara Ali, Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow - one of the first three Muslim women and the first person of British Bangladeshi heritage to be elected to the House of Commons; Preet Gill, Labour MP for Edgbaston and Shadow Minister for International Development - the first Sikh female MP in the UK; and Mohammed Afzal Khan CBE, Labour MP for Manchester Gorton and Shadow Immigration Minister - the first person from a BME background to represent a Manchester constituency in Parliament.

UpRising’s vision is for public leaders to better reflect and represent the communities they serve; with the motivation and character to bring about a substantial shift in power, enabling more people to take charge of their future and positively change their communities. From this trip, we can tell young people are interested in doing just that.

Our esteemed panels for the Environmental Leadership Programme and Leadership Programme also included;

  • Sir James Bevan, CEO The Environment Agency

  • Stephanie Hilborne, CEO The Wildlife Trust

  • Amelia Womack, Deputy Leader The Green Party

  • Sue Hayman, Labour MP for Workington and Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

  • Charlotte Dobson, Senior Community Outreach Officer for Parliament

  • Afzal Rahman, Senior Policy Researcher, Citizens Advice Bureau

  • Ian Kugler, Policy Advisor, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

  • Junaed Khan, Policy Officer, Department of Energy, Business and Industrial Strategy

  • Claire Eadington, Senior Adviser, Chief Executive’s Office, Environment Agency

  • Phil Wilson, Chief Assessor and Chief Psychologist, Civil Service Fast Stream

Our panel guests offered sincere, authentic advice to the UpRisers including opening up about their own imposter syndrome, sometimes doubting their accomplishments and feeling inadequate. UpRisers also learnt a variety of ways to get involved in the civil service including through traditional avenues, networking, and through the Civil Service Fast Stream.

The panels also inspired UpRisers to believe that their individual actions and social action campaigns can make a difference.  UpRisers learnt that if they have a strong enough campaign, people in power can advocate and amplify their concerns around key issues such as the environment, education, employment and climate change.

Here’s what UpRisers thought of the day:

“The panel discussion was incredibly inspiring. Each of the panelists brought their own unique take on how to tackle environmental issues in the UK with great passion and expertise. We got to learn how environmental solutions can go hand in hand with economic growth. The panelists also taught us how we can influence government leaders and companies to minimise their negative impacts on our planet. What’s more, they handled our tough questions brilliantly while giving very thought provoking answers. Really enjoyable, I wish we could have talked with them all day!” - Rebecca Evans, Birmingham ELP

“I found the Parliament trip to be an invaluable opportunity; the panel speakers were very engaging and had such rich experiences and advice to share with us. It was particularly inspiring to see such a diverse group of individuals, much like ourselves, in positions of power within the Government. I left the visit feeling I had gained a greater understanding of how policies are both created and challenged, and with a greater confidence that it was really possible for my group campaign to influence change.” - Naomi Crowe, Birmingham LP


For more photos of the events search #UpRisingatParliament on Instagram and Twitter.

To apply for one of our free programme visit www.uprising.org.uk/apply/