On 13 June 2023, Aled Lewis, a Ysgol Gyfun Aberaeron pupil who represents Ceredigion in the UK Youth Parliament as Ceredigion’s Member of Youth Parliament, and Ifan Meredith, a pupil at Ysgol Bro Pedr and Chair of Ceredigion Youth Council, travelled to London to meet Ceredigion MP, Ben Lake.
The visit included a tour around Westminster from Ben Lake, a question and answer session, meeting staff and other MPs, and an opportunity to sit in the viewing gallery and listen to debates that were happening in the chamber. The opportunity allowed for young people to learn about the history of the Palace of Westminster, the work of UK Parliament, how the various working spaces visited are used and ways that young people can get involved and engage with the democratic process.
Aled Lewis, UK MYP said: “I am grateful for such an amazing and inspiring opportunity to gain an insight into the work life of a Member of Parliament as well as to learn about the history of Westminster and to see a debate first hand.”
Ifan Meredith, Ceredigion Youth Council Chair, said: “It was a pleasure to meet Ben Lake in Parliament whilst it was in session as well as travelling around buildings of political significance in Whitehall and Downing Street. I enjoyed seeing how parliamentary business works behind the scenes and MPs jobs outside the chamber.”
Gwion Bowen is Ceredigion Youth Service’s Children and Young People’s Participation Officer. He said: “We are extremely grateful to Ben Lake and his office for allowing us such a great opportunity once again this year. We enjoyed travelling to London and spent the afternoon with Ben, exploring ‘behind the scenes’ of the Westminster Parliamentary estate, and learning more about the role of MPs and their work. The young people were inspired by the opportunity and we thoroughly enjoyed the experienced.”
Councillor Wyn Thomas is the Cabinet Member responsible for Schools, Lifelong Learning and Skills. He said: “It is vitally important that young people are given the opportunity to engage and take part in the political process, and this is one of many ways that we can support that engagement, and we are grateful to our local MP Ben Lake for his ongoing support and enabling young people to have these opportunities.”