Patchwork Foundation’s Party Conference programme now open for applications!

The Patchwork Foundation was founded in 2013 to encourage Young people from marginalised and minority backgrounds to get involved in public life and make politics more accessible. Over the years it has grown from strength to strength and is something I am incredibly proud to be a part of. 

Patchwork runs the Masterclass Programme, the MP of the Year Awards and the #GetInvolved programme as well as other events and sessions throughout the year. As part of the #GetInvolved programme we take groups of young people aged from 18-30 to the three main party conferences every Autumn and this is now open for applications.

Participants receive a free pass to Labour, Conservative or (most importantly!) Liberal Democrat Federal conference. We provide briefing before the conference and special events for participants during the conference, last year we had an excellent masterclass with Baroness Barker and (nearly) front row seats for the leader’s speech at the Lib Dem conference. But past Liberal Democrat Conference programmes have had sessions with Jo Swinson MP, Nick Clegg and Caroline Pidgeon AM among others.

For many of our participants it’s their first experience of how political parties work on the inside and even people who are already members of political parties tell us how much they gain from the experience. We’re also really proud of the fact it opens politics up to people who otherwise might not be able to come to conference at all and many of our conference participants go on to get more involved in the Patchwork Foundation’s Masterclass Programme and #GetInvolved campaigning and training sessions which have seen us take young people all over the place to campaign for candidates in several elections.

It’s an amazing way to get an up close and personal look at how Party Conferences work and meet some fantastic people as well as senior party figures. So whether you’re a Young Liberal or a less young liberal (or even a parent, teacher, lecturer or youth worker) please apply and tell other people about us! The programme is open to anyone aged 18-30 who can apply here. All we ask in return is that participants are prepared to write or video about their experiences for us.

Applications close on the 2nd of June and people can apply to attend any or all of the three party conferences.

* Charley joined the Lib Dems in 2010, has stood in Local elections in Stoke on Trent and London and was PPC for Swansea East in the 2017 General Election. They have also served on the Executives of the Young Liberals and Lib Dem Disability Association. They are currently an Emergency Services Worker in London and sit on the LGBT+ Lib Dems Exec (writing here in a personal capacity).

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