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Crawley College students inspired by meeting with Ed Miliband

26 January 2023

Students at Crawley College welcomed an opportunity to meet the Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change and Net Zero.

On Friday 20 January, the college hosted a visit from Ed Miliband MP – one of several stops made by the former Labour leader during his visit to the town.

He spent time discussing climate issues, renewable energies as well as the students’ own perception of politics and finding out what matters to them.

James Pinnock-Johnson, Student President for Crawley College, and Sophie Beeden, Vice President, were among 16 students who shared their views, concerns and raised the issues that matter to them – as well as talking about their own educational journeys and aspirations.

Sophie said: “Meeting Ed showed us that he is so dedicated to being an MP and he was inspiring in telling us to follow our passions to achieve our dreams. 

“We spoke about current issues, including the climate crisis. When I brought up current issues that people with hidden disabilities are facing, he carefully listened and was really interested in my journey at Crawley College and the support I have received here.”

Sally Challis-Manning MBE, Principal of Crawley College, added: “It’s important for our students to have opportunities to meet politicians and connect with politics at all levels, so we were delighted to welcome Mr Miliband and his team to the college on Friday.

“He was particularly interested in hearing what our students had to say, especially around climate change, renewable technologies.

“The students came from across a range of our courses, from engineering to public services, and I was proud to see them taking the opportunity to talk about the issues that matter to them.

“It was particularly notable to see how the story of one of our ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) students, who fled Afghanistan with her family, resonated with Mr Miliband who spoke about his parents’ own journeys to Britain.

“I was immensely proud and inspired by how our students didn’t shy away from expressing their thoughts and concerns.”