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Sheffield children visit 10 Downing Street with Meg

Thursday, December 19, 2002

Three Sheffield school children and their mothers enjoyed a trip to 10 Downing Street when they had tea with Cherie Blair recently.

Cherie wrote to Meg Munn, Labour and Co-operative MP for Sheffield Heeley saying that over the years Tony and she had had a lot of requests to visit number 10 and that they were trying to spread the opportunity as widely and as fairly as possible. Cherie asked Meg to invite three local children to come for tea on 10th December.

Meg asked three local primary schools to choose a pupil to send, ideally a child that was a part of the school council

"I thought what a great opportunity for some children from school councils to find out more about national politics and to tell Mrs. Blair what they are doing in Sheffield. No doubt they will be reporting back to their school councils about their experiences."

The three children, who were all accompanied by their mothers, were, Andrew Dwyer, aged 11, a pupil at Anns Grove Primary School, Lilianne Look, aged 10 a pupil from Meersbrook Bank Primary School and Natasha Iftikhar, aged 10, pupil at Hemsworth School.

Following the visit the children all wrote down their impressions of the day, these are extracts.

Lilianne "At first we met Meg Munn in the Houses of Parliament. She took us on a tour and told us the names of the two houses, the House of Commons and the House of Lords. (Meg seemed pleased that they were getting rid of the House of Lords!) We went on to the Terrace, where we had a brilliant view of the London Eye and the River Thames."

Andrew "I was so nervous standing outside the black door of number 10 and when we entered we were led to the breakfast room which was as big as a classroom where we had tea and biscuits. We had a tour of number 10 where we saw a suite valued at one million pounds. We had our photo taken with Mrs Blair, I also received a book about 10 Downing Street which was signed by Mrs Blair"

Lilianne again ". We then had a surprise visit from Tony and Leo Blair! When Cherie came round to us, she was interested to hear about what we had been doing in our councils and we then asked her questions."

Natasha concludes "My question that I asked Cherie was "Do you get tired walking around this big house?" She said she had got used to it.

After that we had a tour of 10 Downing Street. In the hallway there was a cabinet, which contained lots of secret drawers inside it, I thought this was really good. In the Cabinet Room there was a large table shaped like a boat, half way there was a chair sticking out which was Tony Blair’s chair. No one was allowed past it. The trip was a wonderful experience"


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