Judging Your UK Parliament Awards!

Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total; of all those acts will be written the history of a generation
— Robert 'Bobby' Kennedy

Our fantastic Education Advisor, Sam Evans, tells us his thoughts on the Your UK Parliament Awards.

For this week's blog post I wanted to share some thoughts I've had whilst helping Parliament to recognise and celebrate extraordinary acts citizenship by ordinary member's of society. 

I was honoured to be asked to help judge the Your UK Parliament Awards in its second year. The awards span a range of categories; Teacher of the Year, School Action Award and Community Campaigner of the Year.

They are Parliament's recognition of people who have gone above and beyond the normal call to promote the values of democracy, to engage with the House of Commons and House of Lords, or to campaign for change in their communities.

Reading each entry was enormously pleasurable, deciding which I liked most was excruciatingly tough. How can you decide who's civic exercise, passion and impact is really more valuable than another's - you know?

I got through it, with some help, and I cannot wait to attend the ceremony next week and meet some amazing groups and individuals to hear more about their work.

And with the backdrop of everything else that’s happening in politics recently, it’s really important to celebrate participation and involvement.

It was great to hear from young people recognising a need in their community, taking ownership of it, pooling resources with others and making a difference. Proactive, passionate and about individual agency.

This is something we passionately support at Smart School Councils. To persuade schools that democracy in schools can and should be about supporting young people to improve their lives, schools and communities - in big or small ways.

It's also why celebration events like the Your UK Parliament Awards are so important. They're a remainder of how we can all effect change.