Community | 08 July 2019
Summary: A group of east London residents have visited parliament with their local MP as part of an empowerment programme run by MTVH for local women
A group of Hackney residents have visited the Houses of Parliament with their local MP Meg Hillier as part of Women’s Agenda – a year-long empowerment programme run by housing association Metropolitan Thames Valley (MTVH).
The group toured the House of Commons and House of Lords, and met the Hackney South and Shoreditch MP – who led a discussion on how women can be supported to participate more in political life.
Women’s Agenda meetings take place every month on the Canalside estate, which is managed by MTVH. Up to 30 women gather at the free sessions to discuss a range of topics including: community fundraising, self-esteem and confidence building, leadership and making women’s voice heard in public life.
The programme is targeted at women who may feel disengaged from their community, providing an opportunity for participants to express their views and socialise with other local women. The aim of the scheme is to enable participants to participate positively in their local area and support them to pursue their personal ambitions.
Women’s Agenda is part of MTVH’s wider community investment work, through which it helps to tackle a range of issues faced by its residents, including unemployment, debt, and social exclusion.
Meg Hillier MP said: “It was a real pleasure meeting the Women’s Agenda group in Parliament. Hackney is one of the most exciting, dynamic, and diverse parts of London, and the women of Canalside embody that energy.”
Resident Ifatu Bah said: “It was a fantastic experience and I learnt a lot about the history of women in Parliament on the visit. I am very pleased to be taking part in the Women’s Agenda programme – I believe it has helped me to become more confident. I’m now looking at how I can become involved in politics in my area, and hopefully become a local councillor one day.”
Geeta Nanda, Chief Executive at MTVH, said: “We’d like to extend our thanks to Meg Hillier for facilitating the tour. We were proud for such a positive role model, who represents the power of women’s voices in politics and society, to support Women’s Agenda in this way. Through her discussion with residents, she was able to share her insight and experience of political life – and we hope that this has been an inspiring trip for those who attended.”