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Former Deputy Prime Minister takes part in student project

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Issued:03/02/17

Former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg visited Sheffield Hallam University last night to take part in a 'Question Time' style event as part of a student project.

Design student Jasmine Welsh set-up the event, held at Hallam's Sheffield Institute of Arts, to support her project aimed at encouraging young people and students to show an interest in politics.

Jasmine has designed a boardgame called The Ballot Box to help young people understand and get them engaged with politics. To support the project, Jasmine organised and hosted the 'Question Time' event featuring the Sheffield Hallam MP alongside former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, Labour MP Paul Blomfield, UKIP's National Education spokesperson David Kurten and Spencer Pitfield, Conservative spokesperson for South Yorkshire.

The sell-out event was chaired by Jo Lee, senior lecturer in graphic design, and featured an audience of 200 students who asked the panel a range of questions covering Brexit, education, Donald Trump and the NHS. Depending on whether they understood or believed each answer, audience members choose either red or green coloured counters at the end of the event.

Jasmine, who is in the third year of her degree, said: "I looked into why young people seem disengaged with politics, specifically voting. I found that due to a lack of trust, clarity and knowledge young people have 'gone against the system'.

"My first solution idea was a board game that helps the user discover exactly where they sit on the current political scale, whilst racing through current topics to become the next Prime Minister, combining fun with political education.

Jasmine Welsh
Natalie Bennett, Paul Blomfield MP, Nick Clegg MP, David Kurten and Spencer Pitfield on the panel
Jasmine

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"In terms of trust, this seemed a much harder topic to tackle. I decided to set up the Question Time event for students, but with the twist of giving the audience coloured card. This showed the panel how their answers were received, hopefully creating more clarity and understanding between the audience and the politicians."

Nick Clegg said: "Getting young people interested and engaged in politics is vitally important and Jasmine's unique approach to the problem is refreshing. The event itself was a great idea and a way of seeing how we, as politicians, are perceived."  

For press information: Tim Ward in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2811 or email tim.ward@shu.ac.uk