Parliamentary Ambassadors update

The Parliamentary Shadowing scheme has enabled the participants - Parliamentary Ambassadors - to become engaged in an array of local and national political activities.

Drawn from a broad spectrum of political persuasions, the Parliamentary Ambassadors have become immersed in many facets of political life - campaigning, attending hustings, party conference and accompanying their mentors at a diverse range of parliamentary sessions.

Outlined below are some of the activities and perspective of the Parliamentary Ambassadors on their experience so far......

Jacqueline Kibacha, Conservative Shadow

May 2010Canvassing for the Conservative Party.

I have this struggle at times, why as an artist and a writer am I even considering politics and what always comes back to mind is my son and the next generation.

I have to be bothered so that they know to be bothered and also if I can affect change somewhere, however small... then let me do it.


Tue Hong Baker, Plaid Cymru Shadow

July 2010

Highlighting the marginalised voices and issues of minority ethnic individuals by promoting race equality has been the primary focus of my work.

I believe that better representation on decision making fora is essential, not only for creating more inclusive communities, but for creating stronger ones as it taps into a diversity of knowledge and experience.

I hope that my participation on the Shadowing Scheme will help to address this.

Nicole Reece, Labour Shadow

Aug 2010

No longer was I prepared to sit on the sidelines and moan - I was ready to become active and be able to influence and more importantly be able to inspire, encourage and empower others.

If I inspire just one person to get more involved in politics and become active in their communities then for me that is success.

Amanda Lennon, Liberal Democrat Shadow

Party Conference, Sep 2010

Cobblestones and heels go together like Liberal Democrats and Conservatives: with a bit of negotiation and good humour one can pull it off! The thousands of (wet, rained-on) cobblestones leading to Liverpool's dockside arena was the trickiest thing about my 24 hours in Liverpool for the Liberal Democrat Party Conference. Contrary to media reports, I found an atmosphere that was energising, enthusiastic, thoughtful and, most importantly, inclusive.

The inclusivity extended to the informed dissent of the party faithful (still faithful, mind), and all I spoke to expressed a sense of pride in the party's ability to embrace diversity of perspective, which is at the core of the Liberal Democrat's identity, and is already changing the tenor of political engagement in contemporary Britain. Great conversations, great fun and a fantastic insight into policy as it is formed and how it performs in the real world.

Orlanzo George Cole, Labour Shadow

October 2010

Orlanzo is a co-founder of the Clarion Group, a Leicester based group which aims to address the absence of African-Caribbeans from local politics. They hope that their campaign will encourage individuals to seek to become councillors and also get involved in other areas of governance.

Speaking at the launch of the Clarion Group, Orlanzo said, " Having joined the OBV scheme I've come to realise how much can be done locally if we become organised in the community."

Gurvinder Sandher, Conservative Shadow

November 2010

To me it is about making a positive difference in other people’s lives through public service.

In life we can either sit back or let other’s take the lead and then moan when things go wrong or we can be proactive and become the change agents ourselves.


Rebbecca Hemmings, Liberal Democrat Shadow

December 2010

Earlier this year I became an MP shadow. This is the same me that only voted for the first time four years ago, the same me that grew up believing that politics was boring and ‘yes’ the same me who believed that no matter what people like me (black and from a humble background) do, I couldn’t really make a difference anyway. I began to hear myself as a moaner.

I knew then that I had to put up or shut up. I realised very quickly that it takes a strong and resilient person to make real change for communities.