A group of young blind and partially sighted people travelled to the Houses of Parliament to meet MPs as part of the launch of a new campaigning network, supported by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).
The event, which took place on Wednesday 23 October, aimed to empower young people with sight loss to become actively involved in campaigning on issues that matter to them. It was followed by a day of campaign training at the RNIB headquarters in London.
MPs were invited to attend the event at the Houses of Parliament in order to meet their young constituents and learn more about the key issues which affect their lives.
As well as meeting with their MP, the young people took the opportunity to watch Prime Minister’s Questions, enjoy a tactile tour of the Palace of Westminster, meet with Members of the House of Lords and hear more about how Government engages with disabled people.
Francesca Balon, a young campaigner from Leigh, said: “I really enjoyed going to the Houses of Parliament and meeting other young people with sight loss who, like me, want to take action on issues that matter to us. I also enjoyed the opportunity to talk to my MP Andy Burnham about some of things in our area that he can help with.
“I want to campaign alongside others in order to make my voice heard and hope that by meeting with my MP I can help to improve services for blind and partially sighted people.”
Fazilet Hadi, Group Director of Inclusive Society at RNIB, added:
“This event was a great opportunity for young blind and partially sighted people to meet with MPs and with each other, to discuss issues which matter to them and how things can be improved.
“The event helped to build their confidence and skills to campaign for change, by understanding how Parliament works and the role of their local MP.”
Following requests from young people and the success of Haggeye, RNIB Scotland’s young campaigners’ network, RNIB is setting up the young campaigners’ network for England.
RNIB is the leading charity working in the UK offering practical support, advice and information for anyone with sight difficulties. If you, or someone you know, has a sight problem RNIB can help. Call the RNIBHelpline on 0303 123 9999 or visit www.rnib.org.uk