A lesson in politics from popular athlete

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE with Hartlepool Sixth Form College head of history and politics Alison Coutts, students Emily Whitfield, Helen Lamb, Bethany Dunning, Sam Barnfather and history and politics tutor Adam Waller
Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE with Hartlepool Sixth Form College head of history and politics Alison Coutts, students Emily Whitfield, Helen Lamb, Bethany Dunning, Sam Barnfather and history and politics tutor Adam Waller

A POPULAR paralympian turned Baroness took time out of her busy schedule to encourage students to engage in the political process.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson visited Hartlepool Sixth Form College, in Blakelock Road, as part of the Peers in Schools programme which sees members of the House of Lords interact with students.

The aim of the one-hour visit was to encourage teenagers to get more involved with the political and parliamentary process.

Baroness Grey-Thompson met with history, politics and law students to talk about the work and role of the House of Lords.

Students then had the chance to quiz the former Paralympian about life at Westminster.

Alison Coutts, politics teacher at the college, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to interact with someone who knows the parliamentary system inside out, as it can sometimes seem far removed from their daily lives.”

The Welsh-born baroness won an astonishing 16 medals, including 11 golds, representing Great Britain at Paralympic Games.

She has also won six London wheelchair marathons.

In 2010 Tanni was appointed to the House of Lords – and took the title Baroness Grey Thompson of Eaglescliffe in the County of Durham.

The visit was arranged through the Lord Speaker’s Peers in Schools programme, which has been running across the UK since 2007 and has so far involved around 30,000 young people.

The programme sees members of the House of Lords go into schools and colleges across the country to give talks in support of the citizenship curriculum.