THREE students received an insight into the workings of Parliament, as part of a programme that uses politics to build lasting relationships between people of different faiths and beliefs.
As part of the ParliaMentors programme, which is run by the Three Faiths Forum, undergraduate students are mentored by Parliamentarians. The scheme deliberately brings together groups of three mentees, each of different faiths or non-religious belief.
This year Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds has agreed to mentor three students - Tamoor Tariq, Jessica Nightingale and Rosie Dammers – who are all from the University of Manchester.
They have already met with Jonathan in his Hyde constituency office. And last week they visited Westminster to learn more about the House of Commons.
As well as spending time in the main Chamber, the students also met with the Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle and former Chief Secretary to the Treasury, the Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP.
Following the visit, Jonathan said: "This is a scheme that offers students a valuable insight into the workings of Parliament and the work of a Parliamentarian – but it also offers them the chance to learn from each other.
"This scheme very deliberately brings together trios of students of different faiths and of no religious belief so they can learn about each other and gain a greater understanding of each other’s perspectives.
"Schemes like this that bring communities together have a valuable part to play in building stronger and more open societies.
"I was delighted to be able to host a day of events for these students in Parliament –and I am proud to be a part of this scheme."
The Undergraduate ParliaMentors scheme has been awarded the UN Award for Intercultural Innovation.
It sets out to provide space for young people of different faiths and non-religious beliefs to understand each other.
However it is also designed to empower then to take on leadership roles, in a drive to work towards a more integrated, diverse and dynamic society.
As well as gaining a greater understanding of politics the students on the year-long programme also take part in a series community empowerment projects, with support from leading NGOs , and seek to change a part of society.