Baroness Floella Benjamin inspires students and staff during UK Parliament Week

The Millfield Parliament Week in November was filled with debates in group tutor, teachers debating in front of students and voting. The events culminated in a visit from Baroness Floella Benjamin who spoke to students across the whole school.

Baroness Benjamin talked to Year Nine about the challenges she faced as a young child in Britain, arriving from Trinidad as part of the Windrush Generation. She expressed the true challenges of experiencing racism and discrimination both at school and in the local community. She emphasised the importance of rising above and not making the same decisions that those who bullied her did, instead choosing to believe that ‘education is the passport to life’ and following her ambitions to enter the world of acting.

The evening event was certainly a highlight of the year for the sixth form and staff in attendance. Many staff had a trip down memory lane getting to hear from the person that spoke to them as young children on Play School and Play Away. Baroness Benjamin spoke passionately about her work as an advocate for youth empowerment and her decision to campaign tirelessly for a Minister of Children for over a decade. All the students that attended left with a greater sense of self belief, understanding that resilience and staying the course can help you to achieve.

The event ended with Baroness Floella greeting each student individually and reminding them to change the world, a sentiment she has passed onto all young people since her time as Chancellor of the University of Exeter.