Sharon hosted an exhibition and reception in Parliament for Children North East's Child Poverty: Definitely not a thing of the past campaign.
The evening featured exhibitions of pictures taken by children in the North East of their local surroundings and what poverty means to them, as well as performances of a play by members of the Live Theatre in Newcastle (Pictured above), which powerfully depicts the experiences and feelings of a young girl, Hope, growing up in poverty.
The event was well-attended, with appearances from Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg MP and Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls MP, as well as several North East MPs and Peers, and covered on ITV local news.
Speaking after the event, Sharon said: “Combating child poverty has always been a key concern of mine, both from having grown up in North East and from visiting schools in Washington and across the country and talking to teachers about the problem of children turning up to school hungry and therefore unable to learn; that is why I have campaigned so extensively on issues such as free school meals and breakfast clubs, as well as for job creation and financial support for families.
“Seeing the children’s play at the Children North East conference was extremely moving, so I was determined that they should come to Parliament to perform it in front of other politicians to get their message much wider coverage. It was a great event, and I know that those other MPs who came along, including the Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls and Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg, were as moved as I was by the story of Hope.”