Green MEP shows support for student community action in Oxford

19 October 2011

Keith Taylor, Green MEP for Oxford and the South East, will be the guest speaker at the first Oxford Young Greens’ meeting of the term tonight. He will describe the work of an MEP and give a flavour of the many issues he deals with; from transport and tourism to international trade, peace, human rights and animal welfare. He will also explain how the Greens, the fourth largest group in the European Parliament, work with other MEPs to make European legislation. Keith will encourage students to get involved in the many campaigns which are calling for social justice and protection of the environment.

The Green Party’s youth membership increased after parliament voted last year to treble the cap on university tuition fees in England to £9,000 per year. The party now has over 3000 young Green Party members, nearly 20% of the membership. Keith Taylor believes that the government should reinstate state funding to enable universal access to university education.

On Friday morning Keith will visit The Oxford Hub, a student volunteering organisation which recently moved into its new building on Turl Street. Originally opened by a group of Oxford students in 2007 to encourage student volunteering, the Oxford Hub has since grown to a national charity encouraging collaboration and supporting enterprise for thousands of students.

More than 600 students volunteer through the centre, which works with 35 Oxfordshire-based charitable organisations. Students help local communities through a variety of grass-roots projects, from working with the elderly to running mentoring programmes in local schools. Keith will visit the Turl Street Kitchen, an in-house commercial venture serving ethical and sustainable produce and providing some long-term financial stability for the many volunteering and social action projects the charity supports.

Keith said: “Being a student is a great time to get involved in the local community and to campaign on social justice and environmental issues. The Student Hub is a fantastic initiative which helps to increase student engagement in social action. The students who have created this space have been incredibly enterprising in setting up this innovative social enterprise, which I hope will be well used by students and local residents. It’s good to hear that the Turl Street Kitchen is serving ethical and sustainable produce and I look forward to meeting those who work there to hear more about the project and how the first few weeks have been going.”

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