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Maternity and parental leave campaigners nominated for Petition Campaign of the Year

24 March 2021

The nominees for the inaugural Petition Campaign of the Year Award have been announced.

Petition Campaign of the Year Award

This year sees the launch of the first ever Petition Campaign of the Year Award.

Given out as part of the annual Your UK Parliament Awards, this Award celebrates the inspiring people who have used petitions started on Parliament's petitions website to build support for their campaigns for change.

The winners of the Award will be selected by the MPs on the Petitions Committee and will be announced in due course.

The winners will receive a commemorative trophy and all nominees will receive a certificate to celebrate their achievements.

Nominees: Jessie, James, Bethany and Emily

Jessie and James Zammit-Garcia started a petition to Extend maternity leave by three months with pay in light of COVID-19, which received more than 230,000 signatures.

They are nominated alongside Bethany Power and Emily Tredget for their campaigning on the impact of covid-19 on maternity and parental leave.

Jessie, James, Emily and Bethany gave evidence to the Petitions Committee as part of the inquiry prompted in part by their petition.

The Committee also heard from more than 70,000 people as part of its online engagement on this issue.

The Committee then put the evidence they heard from the James, Jessie, other campaigners and experts to Minister for Labour Markets Paul Scully MP in an evidence session.

The Committee's report on this issue was published in July 2020.

The Committee's subsequent report and the petitioners' work, led to important clarifications within the covid guidance for baby and toddler groups, which made it clear that they were exempt from some of the covid restrictions.

Chair's comments

Catherine McKinnell, Chair of the Petitions Committee, comments:

"Because of these petitioners' drive for change, many who otherwise might not have had the support they need will be able to access these groups during what has been, and continues to be, an extremely challenging time for new parents.

"These campaigns are a testament to the power of petitions to highlight issues that might otherwise not be heard in Parliament.

"The nominees have each demonstrated the impact of organising a successful campaign, building on their petitions by gathering support from the wider public, charities and others who share their concerns.

"Our nominees' passion, determination, and ideas for how to tackle the problems they've set their minds to has been inspiring, and they should all be proud of their achievements."

The other nominees

  • Clotilde Rebecca Abe and Atinuke Awe, for their campaign on the issue of Black maternal mortality and healthcare
  • Nell Bevan, Esmie Jikiemi-Pearson, Yacoub Yasin and Cynthia Muthoni, for their campaign calling for increased diversity in the national curriculum
  • Ashley Greenwood, for his campaign to allow limited numbers of fans to attend football matches during lockdown
  • Marcus Rashford MBE, for his campaign on the issue of child food poverty

What are the Your UK Parliament Awards?

The 4th annual Your UK Parliament Awards recognise the individuals across the UK who have taken democratic action on the issues they care about.

There are six categories, which celebrate individuals, schools, and organisations who have made a difference in their communities and beyond.

Further Information

 Image: Parliamentary copyright