"I'm full of admiration for the talent and commitment of those who Graduate from ParliaMentors" Rt Hon John Bercow MP
Every year teams of ParliaMentors bring their community and their campus together to solve problems that they identify during their needs assessment. In the past 10 years there have been over 100 projects, here are just a few of them.
Food Chain was launched in 2012, with the aim of addressing food poverty and food wastage in Manchester. The students managed to provide food for a considerable number of people, as well as to raise awareness about food poverty and food wastage in the local area. Their aim was to establish a link between ‘food on campus’ and the local charity Barnabus, a link which would remain even after the end of the project. An inspiring example of how three students can work together and make a sustainable difference.
We Are Nottingham
The team created a social action project that responded to the divisions that existed between students and Nottingham's other residents. In order to bridge this gap they created a food festival supported by the City Council and University. Over 300 people attended including local MP Lilian Greenwood and over eighty percent of respondents said their perceptions of other community members had improved as a result of the event!
Slow Down London
Students in London created a film that inspired Londoners to improve their quality of life through stress reduction, healthy living and enjoying green spaces. Their aim was to raise awareness around how each individual could make a positive impact on the environment, at the same time as they were working with already existing programs run by governmental bodies in the UK. A great way in which the ParliaMentors programme has facilitated the creation of a linkage between students, the local community and politicians. Please find the full video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhdhOG_MBQY
RDCY Women’s Programme
The RDCY Women’s Programme focused on giving women of diverse backgrounds, the incentive and opportunity to participate in fitness related activities, the team sought to strengthen the sense of female empowerment within minority groups. Through networking with colleges, politicians and fitness coaches, the team managed to achieve great accomplishments in improving the fitness level, and women empowerment. Their work really made a true impact on the life of many young women, and inspired for a continuation of the work within this sector – success!
The team of ParliaMentors at Nottingham Trent University, observed that Nottingham has many diverse communities which are often concentrated in different areas of the city, resulting in these groups having limited interaction with one another. The team’s project, Unity, offered a series of reflective events celebrating the diversity on campus and beyond, and culminated in a panel event which brought together students and people from local communities to learn about one another.
The award-winning Outnumber Hunger project, led by ParliaMentors at the University of Birmingham, was driven by the rapidly rising use of food banks for emergency supplies and the 15 million tonnes of food wasted annually in the UK. Through partnerships with a local food bank and national network The Real Junk Food project, the team maintained an online campaign on the issue of food poverty, complemented by a food drive collecting nearly 700kg of non-perishable food and a celebratory cooking contest for volunteers using only unwanted food.
As a group of students who each had a personal connection to the challenges of being a refugee or similar, the SOAS ParliaMentors were driven particularly in their project choice by the limited integration of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in the UK into the wider London society. Their project, Camden Cares, centred on partnerships with Arsenal Football Club and various London-based refugee charities, and ran two all-expenses-paid facilitated sports events for young refugees at Arsenal Stadium.
Fix Up, Look Smart
With a team of only three ParliaMentors, the students at the University of Salford led Fix Up, Look Smart, an award-winning pilot project around the topics of truancy and career advice among school students. Recognising that a variety of factors, including personal situations and feelings of marginalisation from opportunities, can promote truancy among young people, the team built a partnership with a local school to develop a small mentoring programme for students with levels of truancy. As a result of the pilot, the five students involved improved their academic attainment, and their truancy had stopped entirely. The project is continuing through Salford University’s own careers department.