Tanni Grey-Thompson encourages students to engage in politics

Paralympics champion Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson met students last week to encourage them to engage more in politics.

Baroness Grey-Thompson, a peer in the House of Lords, spent time with students at St Aidan’s Church of England Academy in Darlington.

She talked about the work and role of the House of Lords, and answered questions from students about the various aspects of the parliamentary process and life at Westminster.

Her visit was part of the Lord Speaker’s “Peers in Schools” programme, launched in 2007 to send members of the House of Lords to schools and colleges to give talks in support of the citizenship curriculum.

Baroness Grey-Thompson spoke of the importance of the outreach programme.

“A lot of people, even those who know about politics, do not know what happens in the House of Lords. It is important to explain it to young people. It opens young people’s minds.”

During her question and answer session with the students, she compared her glory days on the track with her career as a politician.

“When you are winning or losing, it’s important to you and your family and your trainers but nobody dies,” she said.

“The decisions we take in the House of Lords affect people’s lives and I am really conscious of the need to take sensible decisions. I love being there. It’s an amazing place.”

Academy Principal Alison Appleyard said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to interact with someone who knows the Parliamentary system inside out, as it can sometimes seem far removed from their daily lives.”

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