The UK Youth Parliament provides opportunities for 11-18 year olds to use their elected voice to bring about social change through meaningful representation and campaigning. Prestige Network’s Interpreters were deployed to facilitate the engagement of all 11 to 18-year old elected Members of Youth Parliament in the historic debate in the House of Commons.
Two British Sign Language/English interpreters were engaged for the entire day’s five debates on: free university education; youth crime and how to tackle it; free transport for over 60s (but not for young people); capitalism, the economy and job opportunities for young people; lowering the voting age to 16. The interpreters were based in the Chamber itself.
The initiative made history – it was the first time in 300 years that British Sign Language/English interpreters had ever been part of a debate of any kind in the House of Commons.
“Prestige Network found us two BSL/English interpreters for this very high-profile event at incredibly short notice, when no one else was able to help. Their interpreters were very efficient, professional and capable. I would definitely recommend Prestige Network to other people.”We were proud to have played a key role in the democratic process and the interpreters said they were honoured to have made history. The House of Commons Overseas Office placed the order with us on Tuesday, just two clear days away from the occasion itself. They were pleased that we were able to help out so promptly – they had approached several organisations, but we managed to find people for them within 15 minutes.
The use of British Sign Language/English interpreters was essential in order to engage all young people, enabling every single one of them to integrate into the debates and not to feel disenfranchised.