Last Friday we were delighted to welcome Mr Roger Godsiff, our local MP. Roger joined our parliament workshop together with Clare, Tom and Charlotte from the Parliament Team.
30+ ladies all crowded into the Training room, eager to build on their knowledge of democracy and the role played by their MP.
The chit chat of the morning fell silent as Roger was introduced to the group by Mr David Cusack, St Paul’s Chief Executive.
David set the scene for the morning, as he spoke about the importance of the work and in all of us having a voice in democracy and being active citizens.
Then, the audience listened intently as Roger explained his role and the work he is involved in for his constituents. Roger spoke passionately about wanting to help and support his constituents and provided full details of how we could contact him. Then generously, he asked the audience for their questions.
The ladies had been practicing their language skills and were happy to raise questions about all the issues that were important to them. Hands were flung in the air and the questions came fast. Questions on education, facilities to improve health and wellbeing, social facilities for their children, better parks & recreation areas, the need for more free English provision, better access to health, road safety and housing.
Roger was behind the work to instigate 20mph zones in the roads by local schools.
He also shared how he lobbies Parliament for more social housing for Birmingham. We shared his pride in representing one of the country’s most diverse wards; Hall Green has many different communities and the need for English classes is great.
Roger explained how he appreciates that learning English is essential for all communities to be a part of society, to become economically independent and to help them to ensure that they can play their part in supporting their children to realise their potential.
Following our Q&A session, Roger happily posed for selfies, handed out details of his surgery hours and most importantly, endorsed our #Get Balsall Heath Reading campaign.
This work has been vital in further supporting parents to understand democracy and the essential need to ensure they are registered to vote and thus able to exercise their democratic right.
We look forward to welcoming the Parliament Team and Roger to St. Paul’s CDT again soon.
Hafsha D Shaikh