Rt Hon Dominic Grieve MP, Attorney General: "I have no doubt that this year's class will go on to play important roles in the future – both in their local communities, and maybe even on the national or international stage."
Lynne Featherstone MP: "The understanding that we all as humans have far more in common then we have in differences will stay with them all their lives."
Stephen Twigg MP: "It has been fantastic to mentor three wonderful and intelligent young people"
Mark Spencer MP: "I found the whole experience stimulating, challenging and enjoyable"
Hazel Blears MP: "Inspiring, uplifting, overwhelmingly positive and it gave me great faith in the ability of young people to build a better future"
On this year-long programme, trios of university students of different faiths and non-religious beliefs are mentored by parliamentarians and create social action projects with support from leading local and national NGOs. Participants on the programme receive training and attend events that widen their professional and social networks.
Since 2007 over 200 students from various of backgrounds (including Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Atheist, Agnostic, Buddhist, Daoist, Hindu, Humanist, and Sikh) have taken part in the UP programme, along with over 40 parliamentarians as mentors.
During the first term on the programme, each trio creates a social action or empowerment project with the aim of increasing political participation and encouraging social responsibility. The trios have ownership over their projects, from inception through to delivery, with 3FF staff and non-governmental organisations guiding them along the way.
Previous projects include:
Organisations that supported past projects include Media Trust, St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace, Citizenship Foundation, Refugee Council, Stop the Traffik, London City Council, the Welsh Assembly, Hestia, Barnabus, and the British Institute for Human Rights.
Each trio is mentored by an MP or Peer. Through the mentoring process, participants gain a unique insight into politics. They meet with their mentors three to four times and regularly have the opportunity to attend constituency offices, political events and parliamentary committees and debates.
All participants attend a three day long expenses-paid residential event where they receive leadership training, explore methods for effective communication and learn project management and teamwork skills.
Each spring, participants have the opportunity to attend a lecture on the relationship between faith, politics and the media. Previous key-note speakers include Jon Sopel, Jon Snow, Samira Ahmed, and Bonnie Greer.
Participants graduate from the programme at a reception in the Houses of Parliament.
Alumni have gone on to work for the Home Office, the BBC, think-tanks, Dods, MPs and the Civil Service and have even gone on to political office.
"He gave us the opportunity to ask him any questions and was also really keen to know how he could help us".
Anna was mentored by Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith. With her trio, she visited the Department for Work and Pensions, spent a day at the Centre for Social Justice and visited the constituency office. After impressing the staff during her visit, Anna has since gone on to do an internship at the Centre for Social Justice.