Parliament week

Hello! We are 4th Ingleby Barwick Rainbows, we are so excited to be sharing this post with you all and telling you about our visit from a local V.I.P. for our Parliament Week activity!

For those who don’t know, every November units from all sections take part in Parliament Week. This week, which is planned by the UK’s Parliament in Westminster allows girls to understand the workings of Parliament together with the workings of central and local government. (You also get a free badge, which is even more exciting!)

Over the years, we have chosen to take part as this enables Rainbows to understand and be involved with topics ranging from the suffragette movement to the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

This year, as we were working towards our Take Action Theme Award and had a super exciting visit to our local airport planned for World Thinking Day, we invited Ben Houchen, Baron Houchen of High Leven, the Mayor of Tees Valley to come and help us understand what Parliament is and those who work within Parliament do to Take Action to help us and our community.

The week before his visit, we discussed what Mayors do, how they make a promise to their community to help them win the election and how they Take Action every day. The Rainbows then split into groups and worked on the Parliament and me- Rainbows dept of Small Change UMA. Their department then all made a promise poster for their own election. Some groups chose to keep the streets “Dog Poop” free, some to plant more flowers to help wildlife and others to build more schools to keep classes smaller and more fun.

On the night of The Mayor’s visit, he discussed his promise to the community which was part of his 2017 mayoral campaign, The Mayor promised to bring Teesside International Airport (then Durham Tees Valley Airport) back into its previous name and public ownership and how In December 2018 he helped make this happen. The Rainbows loved this and loved telling The Mayor how they are all visiting the airport soon to celebrate World Thinking Day and work towards their Explore Stage 1 badge.

He discussed how important being a good member of society was, and how it is important to listen to and help others. 

The Mayor asked all the Rainbows what they want to be when they are older and how he is helping them achieve that dream, some by funding schools, some by creating grants for local artists and others by discussing and voting for more funding to go into the NHS.

We then had question time, with Rainbows asking how they can be a Mayor, how if they have a question how they can contact Parliament, how they can ask the Mayor to change something they don’t like and even how they can do something as amazing as saving a local airport.

After a Rainbows chat, The Mayor then listened to the Rainbows Take Action promises, they spent time discussing this with them and how they think he should tell Parliament about their promises to make the community and their world better. 

At the end of the meeting, we awarded The Mayor a Rainbows Helper badge to say a huge Rainbows thank you, for all the work he does and for taking time to visit us on a chilly November night!

The visit was an incredible way to engage directly with Parliament in a way that was age-appropriate and still fun whilst discussing a grown-up topic! (Plus whom else can say they fist-bumped a Lord)

You can register for this years Parliament week here:


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