Norwich MP joins young Christians in clean-up
By Keith Morris
2009: Chloe Smith
, Conservative MP for Norwich North
and Britain’s newest and youngest MP, picked up a paintbrush on Monday and joined hundreds of young Christians in the Mile Cross
neighbourhood of Norwich.
Ms Smith, in one of her first constituency visits since her election, came ready to get her hands dirty and donning a red t-shirt, she joined some of the young people from the Newday Christian youth event based at the Royal Norfolk Showground to paint fences.
Speaking about her afternoon with the Newday volunteers Ms Smith said: "People can see that young people are doing something that's really helpful and really positive and they're having fun while they're at it. But I think actually it's not just that, it's bigger than that, this is a way of saying people can choose to do activities that are of real benefit to communities and I look forward to really encouraging that if I can, on the practical side as well. I think it's really important that young people are involved."
Talking about the importance of young people being involved, she said: "I think it's great to see people of any age and from any walk of life involved in voluntary activity, especially very locally in people's own communities, but I think it's great to see hundreds of young people who could well be doing something else with their time, but are here making a difference and that, to me, actually is what it's all about."
Over the course of five days this week thousands of young people are taking part in social action projects including: running skate parks, free car washes, holiday clubs for senior citizens, kids holiday clubs, cafes, fun days, litter picking, fence painting, garden tidying and rubbish clearance.
Joel Virgo, from the Newday team explains: “We want to give young people the opportunity to roll their sleeves up, get their hands dirty and really show something of the love of God in practical ways. That can involve all kinds of things; clearing up litter, tidying up, clearing up neighbourhoods.”
Linda Blakeway, Norwich City Councillor for Mile Cross, said: "I would like to welcome the young people from Newday to the area. The Newday projects have developed an exciting range of tasks to help clean up the estate and make it a more attractive place to live. I would encourage local residents to engage with the young volunteers when they are out and about and help to support the work that they are doing."
Pictured above is MP Chloe Smith with Newday volunteers busy at work in Mile Cross, Norwich.