One privilege of serving as Member of Parliament for Crawley is the opportunity I have to visit local schools and community groups, and take part in discussions about current affairs and our democratic process.
The ideas which our young people have and the enthusiasm which they share for the future of our country is something I often think about in Parliament.
Of course, the pandemic has made such visits more challenging, but this does not mean that engagement in our political process comes to a halt.
UK Parliament Week is an annual festival taking place from 1st to 7th November 2020. This is the tenth year that this initiative will engage people in Crawley and throughout the United Kingdom with our Parliament.
It provides an important opportunity to reflect on people’s own involvement with the democratic system; considering what issues are important, and how people can work with Parliament to bring about change.
There are a variety of different events which can take place, ranging from Q&A sessions and holding a debate, to setting up a petition and making a video.
There are a series of resources on the UK Parliament Week website, including further session ideas, how to raise awareness of your event, and a whole host of interactive teaching materials on how the work of Parliament affects our lives on a daily basis.
Last year, over 1.2 million people took part in UK Parliament Week in every nation and region of the UK, alongside countries all over the world.
I am pleased that local groups have signed up to be part of the conversation this year. As Crawley MP I not only welcome this involvement but I encourage others to sign up to take part as well.
I am determined to ensure that our voters and citizens of tomorrow understand how vital their participation is in our democracy.
When the effects of this pandemic are passed I look forward to once again giving groups from Crawley tours of the House of Commons and taking them to the Parliament Education Centre, where some of the most erudite questions I face during the course of a year come from local students.
If you are interested in organising a UK Parliament Week event in Crawley please register your details to get involved. The UK Parliament Week team will be able to send you information and a free resource kit, including items such as a booklet, bunting, a ballot box and more, which can be tailored for different organisations.
Details of how to get involved are available on my website: www.henrysmith.info.
Henry Smith MP