EYPUK is pleased to announce that the Liverpool EurVoice, which took place 19th October, was a great success! The event saw around 45 pupils from 9 local schools (Yrs 8-13) come together to discuss a variety of issues and put questions to a panel: consisting of Edwina Currie (Former MP for South Derbyshire), Malcolm Kennedy (Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport), Jake Morrison (UK’s youngest councillor), and Ben Turner (Education Correspondent for Liverpool Echo).
The session began with an opening speech from Mike Leyland, whose question: ‘Who here has an opinion?’ was met with a room full of raised hands. Dividing the pupils into smaller discussion groups allowed each individual to voice these opinions and discuss five main topics: the recent riots, public transport, healthy eating, the media, and the effect of Europe on young people’s lives. Despite a wide age range, everyone managed to work together to analyse the problems and find solutions – inspired by each other and the team of alumni.
Questions were formed in the discussion groups and brought to the panel session, and it was great to see how many students were confident to ask questions and challenge the panellists. The responses from the panellists were very interesting and it was good to see some debate sparking between the panel as well. Additionally, we received some great cooking tips from Malcolm Kennedy, and we will now have to see how many of us put Edwina Currie’s “do karate and then you’ll be able to eat a burger” theory to the test! The atmosphere was very relaxed and the direct responses of the students showed their determination to get their questions across. One school had even gone to the effort of putting together a presentation on the media topic which was an added touch, and we got to see some footage of Edwina rocking the dance-floor on Strictly! Overall, the questions asked were thought-provoking, innovative and, most importantly, they were issues which the pupils themselves were passionate about; which is what EurVoice is aiming to achieve.
The day proved that EurVoice is a worthwhile and exciting venture for EYPUK, and the enthusiasm of the schools that took part suggests that EurVoice will move from strength to strength. There was a definite sense that the pupils wanted to be involved and take on responsibility to help find resolutions to these big issues – they all grasped the opportunity to get their voice heard. Many thanks to all the pupils and teachers who attended, Liverpool City Council and the staff at Liverpool Town Hall, the four panellists, and Jeff Dunn for their support in this event.
All that’s left to say is: Liverpool, Your Voice has been heard.
For a further report on the session please follow the link http://www.jmu-journalism.org.uk/#/news-496/4547613024