Underprivileged young people from Leicester were given a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament by Jonathan Ashworth MP in a bid to help raise their life and career aspirations.
The trip was organised by the Randal Charitable Foundation, Leicestershire Police and the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) Foundation, to help inspire underprivileged young people from across Leicestershire to show the opportunities that might be available to them and inspire them to reach their full potential.
The day out included a walk along the Thames Embankment before the tour and a sightseeing trip on a London bus afterwards.
Dr Nik Kotecha OBE DL, Chairman of Randal Charitable Foundation said:
“There are moments in the lives of young people which can be turning points, for good and for bad. We organised this special tour to create a memorable moment in time – to share sights and scenes, which might be exciting, but also which might raise aspirations for some of the young people joining our tour.”
Following the success of the trip the partners are now looking at extending the scheme in Leicestershire, which could eventually create a national blueprint for others to follow.
The CSJ estimates that only 12.3 per cent of the most disadvantaged pupils in England access full-time higher education by the age of 19, while a child from one of the UK’s poorest areas is 27 times more likely to attend a school rated ‘inadequate’ than a child in one of our wealthiest areas.
Steve Meadwell, CSJ’s Regional Manager for the Midlands said:
“Talking to the students, most had never been to London or even out of Leicester, so to have this experience was an amazing opportunity and aspiration builder, which you could see through each student’s face, throughout the day.”
The trip was made possible thanks to the community outreach work of Leicestershire Police, which is currently engaging Leicestershire schools with its Mini Police programme. Mini Police is an innovative and fun police engagement initiative, which is delivered in schools with the support of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) from the local neighbourhood police team.
Photo: Randal Charitable Foundation