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Students celebrate a decade of interfaith leadership programme

Young changemakers

Young changemakers

Fifty emerging leaders from different religious and cultural backgrounds are coming together this month to make a positive impact on their communities nationwide. On the 10th year of 3FF's ParliaMentors leadership programme, the students will work collectively to create and inspire change in their university cities, while being supported by MPs.

Faced with a growing negativity in the media when it comes to issues of faith and politics, these university students are instead putting their faith in politics and being the change they wish to see in society. Over the last 10 years, more than 350 young change-makers and 50 MPs have been involved in the UN award-winning ParliaMentors programme. Many participants are now working in leadership positions in the public, private and voluntary sectors, continuing to champion good interfaith relations in their roles.

ParliaMentors begins this week with students at participating universities in Birmingham, Coventry, Nottingham, Manchester, Salford and London take part in a three-day residential training event.

The event will culminate with the Parliamentary launch on Thursday 8 September, entitled 'A Decade of ParliaMentors', which will celebrate the impact and history of the programme and announce plans for its future. Alongside their MP mentors, participants will be able to meet and learn from keynote speakers The Rev Sally Hitchiner, Coordinating Anglican Chaplain and Interfaith Adviser at Brunel University, and Lord Bourne, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Communities Minister Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth said: "Building understanding and friendships between faiths helps make our communities stronger. I have no doubt these inspiring young leaders of the future will go on to make a tangible difference in their communities."

Neil Jameson, Executive Director, Citizens UK: "Over the last 10 years ParliaMentors has built a network of global leaders who understand the nuances of identity, power and social change and are able to navigate the social and political complexity of the 21st century - I hope to see ParliaMentors continue for another decade."

Read more about 3FF - Three Faiths Forum here: www.3ff.org.uk/