“Working for Your Community” – Annual Summer School
As an MP, I am often asked for community placements and internships and unfortunately cannot accommodate them all. To try and give as many young people from Oldham as possible community placements experience, I held my first ‘working for your community’ summer school for 18-24 year olds in 2014 and because of the fantastic intake, the great programme and the popularity of it, I now hold this summer school annually.
The aim of the 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.
The selected group of young people will be based in Oldham and must be available for every weekday for the duration of the scheme but there will also be a one day visit to Parliament where the group will have a tour of Parliament and meet various politicians, researchers and advisors. Participants will spend the first week developing knowledge and understanding of community development theory and practice, campaigning skills and tools, and defining a campaign and community project to work on in week 2. Sessions will be delivered by various experts and leaders in community development, campaigning, communications, and politics.
Week 2 will be spent working with Oldham-based community organisations and charities such as Voluntary Action Oldham, Positive Steps and the Link Centre to develop and refine the campaign. On the last day participants graduate!
Past participants had this to say about their summer school experiences:
Hajra who recently moved to Oldham from Italy and hopes to study medicine in the future, said:
“I would like to thank Debbie and the whole team for giving us such a great opportunity.
The time spent with different people taught us how the law effects our daily life, how a campaign could change a situation to affect society and how a small group of citizens can change the society in a positive way.
The life stories of different MPs (such as Andy Burnham and Luciana Berger) especially, made me realise how we can make a positive difference in the world or how we could serve our community making people’s life better. I personally got out of the Summer School fantastic friends, more values and strong willingness to give my positive contribution to the world to make it a better place. It was a great life experience for me.”
Tahmina, who was very much looking forward to starting her degree in Rehabilitation Studies said:
“I benefited a lot from this course and I got to explore what politicians do for us regarding the local community. It’s not just about meetings in Parliament, it’s also about getting involved with local and small agencies which help the rest of the community.”
Pictures from the summer school:
You can view videos of past summer schools below: