Hi all, Dan (The Swan Manager) here! I am very excited that this is my first full blog post!
In the Swan Youth Project, we were very lucky as, in October we had a visit from David Gauke MP/Chief Secretary to the Treasury. David came down to speak to the young people and answer any questions they had. I planned this to run somewhat like the BBC show, Question Time! The format was open and relaxed to allow as much time for questions as possible. This was hosted by both me and Noah, Swan Youth Project and Berkhamsted Youth Town Council Member.
Our brilliant Young People had prepared their own questions on all topics to ask David. Admittedly I had prepared more than my fair share of questions as well!
In the run up to the event we had great debates about politics, equality and the world we are living in ! One subject we found coming up frequently unsurprisingly was Brexit!
Once David arrived, I briefly introduced David to our young people, staff members, trustees and other special guests. David gave an introductory statement explaining what his role is both as a Member of Parliament and as a Minister of Finance. After this the floor opened to any questions which the young people would like to ask David.
I had expected that to warm up the session I and the other Swan Staff members would have time to ask various questions to inspire the young people. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I did not have to do this at all. The young people had prepared so many different questions I found it hard to make time for a question for me!
The young people’s questions varied drastically. Possibly one of my favourite questions was asking if David has ever struggled to work with any of his political peers? Unexpectedly David gave an extremely charming and political answer being loving to all! Another memorable conversation was about the arts and how we need to protect it for future generations.
To finish the session, we played a quick game of word association. The young people had to say a word and the first word which came into David’s head was to be shared. This was a great and fun way to finish the session.
Everyone I spoke to about the session commented on how much they learnt and how much they enjoyed it!
Since we have run this session we now run weekly debates and hope to invite future special guests to repeat this Question Time style Q+A session.
I must admit I found it rather funny turning on question time a few weeks later to see no other than David on the real question time. I have a feeling David Dimbleby may have had a slightly wider knowledge of politics than me!
We would like to formally thank Rt. Hon David Gauke MP for his much appreciated attendance at the Swan Youth Project on behalf of all the Young People, Staff Members and Trustees of the SYP.
We were also happy to learn David enjoyed his experience at the Swan.