21st July 4 service users, 3 staff and a trustee, attended the Palace of Westminster as a guest of our patron, Lord Patel of Bradford.
We set off early at 6am for the long drive. The traffic was kind and we stopped off for breakfast at Leicester Forest East where we ate pre prepared breakfast sandwiches. We arrived in Central London just after 11am and were met by our trustee, Ed Mowlam, who whisked us past the long queues that had already formed to get into parliament, and through the security at Portcullis House.
Once through security we met Lord Patel in Westminster Hall, we had a short wait for our guide and then enjoyed a 90 minute tour of the lobbies and House of Lords. As well as the magnificent surroundings and history, we enjoyed spotting famous MP’s and Lords. Unfortunately we couldn’t go into the House of Commons as it was Prime Ministers question time, but this just added to the drama of the occasion.
After the tour we were very kindly taken to the House of Lords terrace where we were treated to soft drinks and chatted with Lord Patel. The weather remained hot and sunny for the whole day, so this refreshment break was welcomed by all.
We said our good byes to Lord Patel and picnicked in Victoria Tower Gardens, where we ate a sumptuous spread which had been prepared the previous day by the hostel chef.