Stockport MPs back Portrait of a Nation

November 7, 2008 12:11 PM
Portrait of a Nation

Mark and Andrew meeting the Young Ambassador from Manchester

Young people from across the country descended on Westminster last week to tell an audience of parliamentarians, including Cheadle Constituency MP Mark Hunter and Hazel Grove MP Andrew Stunell, what it really means to be a young person in 2008.

Mark and Andrew met in Parliament with Ruth Ibegbuna, Manchester Project Co-ordinator; 11 year-old Josie Kelly, Youth Ambassador for Manchester; and TV Producer Phil Redmond, now Creative Director for Liverpool Culture Company. The trio explained the work of Portrait of a Nation, and Ruth and Josie presented their project "We Make Manchester", produced by youth groups from across the Greater Manchester Area.

Backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Liverpool Culture Company, "Portrait of a Nation" is the biggest national youth project of its kind, and challenges young people to explore the impact that their cultural roots have on their identity and hopes for the future. At the event, young people representing 17 cities, including Manchester, united to urge politicians to listen to how they wish to be perceived as young adults and talk about what matters to them.

Mark Hunter said:

"It was fantastic to meet these Young Ambassadors and to be able to find out what their priorities are for their future, what they think are the big issues facing our community and country today, and what we can do to address these issues. So few politicians have the opportunity to speak to young adults about their aspirations and I was very pleased to have this opportunity."

Commenting, Andrew Stunell said:

"This was a really lively event, and it was great to see so many young adults ready to tell MPs just what it's like for them. Too often young people are taken for granted, and end up feeling totally left out when decisions are taken. It was good to listen to Josie, and hear about the things that matter to young people across the country."

Josie Kelly said:

"This has been an amazing project to be a part of, and I just wish we had access to more cultural experiences like this. Manchester often gets a bad press but it's a brilliant place and I want to share all that's good about it."

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