Influential leaders back local MP's popular summer school

Date published: 10 July 2018

Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, and Sean Fielding, Leader of Oldham Council, have both made guest appearances at MP Debbie Abrahams' fifth annual summer school for young people.

The aim of Mrs Abrahams' summer school is for participants to develop community action skills and experience by working on various community projects in Oldham.

Participants will develop key skills for both future involvement in politics and community-based work.

Commenting on her initiative, which runs from July 9-20, Mrs Abrahams said: “As well as building their community action skills and gaining useful work experience I'm really keen to give local young people a behind-the-scenes look at how politics works and affects everyone’s daily life.   

“The group will visit Parliament this week as part of their experience where they'll have a tour and meet various politicians, researchers and advisors and hear for themselves what it's like to work in politics."

After his session, which took place in the council chamber and was titled, ‘perspective from local government’, Mr Fielding (pictured above inside the Council chambers) said: “It’s great to meet so many local young people who are really interested in doing community work and finding out more about the world of politics. 

“Debbie’s summer school is an excellent way of ensuring young people are given the chance to develop their skills and get involved in shaping the future of Oldham which will help create a better life for everyone.”

Mr Burnham, who has been to previous summer schools, was equally impressed.

He added: “Once again I’m heartened to meet such energetic young people who are eager to learn about working in their communities to make a difference.

“It’s that drive, involving young people at a local and national level, that gets them into politics and today I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the next generation of leaders and influencers.”

The young summer school participants will be based in Oldham for their first week developing knowledge and understanding of community development theory and practice, campaigning skills and tools. 

Week two will be spent working with Oldham and Saddleworth-based community organisations and charities on existing projects or to develop and refine a campaign.

Sessions will be delivered by various experts and leaders in community development, campaigning, communications, sport and politics.

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