Nick Thomas-Symonds MP met young people at the end of “Bay to Hay’ relay to raise awareness of the Send My Friend to School campaign

On Thursday 24 May 2018, Nick Thomas-Symonds MP, Member of Parliament for Torfaen, met young campaigners at the Hay Festival alongside local MP for the area, Chris Davies.

The pupils were at the end of the “Bay to Hay” sponsored walk, a relay where a baton has been brought from Cardiff Bay to the Hay Festival including campaigning messages on the issue of every child around the world being able to go to school.  Violence is too often a reason why children from around the world cannot access education, and the charity Send My Friend to School campaigns to make school environments safe around the world.  Mr Thomas-Symonds and Mr Davies received the baton which they will now convey to Downing Street.

Three schools from Torfaen had taken part in the relay: St Albans RC High School, Our Lady of the Angels RC Primary and Blaenavon Heritage VC Primary School. Pupils from Our Lady of the Angels met Mr Thomas-Symonds at the event.

It is estimated that approximately 246 million children around the world experience violence at school every year: from gender-based violence to the life-threatening attacks experienced in schools conflict-zones to bullying and disability related discrimination.  The UK Government, in 2015, made a commitment to ensure that, by 2030, every child has the ability to access a quality, inclusive education.

Mr. Thomas-Symonds said:

“Violence in schools is a huge barrier that prevents many of the vulnerable children from accessing education and learning. If we do not act on this, we will never meet the Government’s targets. It is an honour to receive this baton and I look forward to reading all the messages before taking them to Downing Street to show our leaders that young people care deeply about this important issue and to ensure that the Government does all it can to make schools safe around the world.”

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