I’m proud to call Plymouth my home. The best part of being an MP is going out each Friday to meet the people and organisations who make our city such a fantastic place to live and work in.

Below is a round-up from my Plymouth visits last Friday.

Stoke Damerel

Luke speaking to students at Stoke Damerel school
Luke speaking to students at Stoke Damerel school

My first stop of the day was at Stoke Damerel school to speak to year 8-13 students about the big issues facing politics and Plymouth in 2024.

I was impressed by the range and depth of questions I fielded from the students there, ranging from climate change, housing, dentistry, the pressures on the NHS and when the General Election will be called.

We should be encouraging young people to engage with politics and vote so that their voices are heard and the issues that affect them are addressed by the government. This is why I set up my Summer School initiative, which aims to give young people in Plymouth the skills and confidence to campaign on issues that are important to them.

I hope to see some of the fantastic students at Stoke Damerel again at this year’s summer school.

Stuart Road Primary School

Luke reading to pupils at Stuart Road Primary School
Luke reading to pupils at Stuart Road Primary School

Later, I visited Stuart Road School to read to pupils as part of National Storytelling Week. I enjoyed reading two chapters of The Boy in the Dress to year 4 students at the school.

Every child should be encouraged to read books and be inspired by stories. It was lovely to see hear how enthusiastic the pupils were about books and storytelling.

Military Kids Club Heroes

Military Kids Club Heroes is back up and running, working with the Future Fit Junior Field Gun charity to support children from military families.

It was great to meet Lily, Military Kids Club Heroes Lead to talk about the initiative and how the project she is running supports local children of deployed parents.  Many families across Plymouth know the struggle and impact military deployment can have on children.

Lily’s work on organising events and trips including to The Box, Theatre Royal, helps children to bond and realise that having a deployed parent is a hard time but they can share their stories and feel understood.

Some of you may remember the Plymouth Military Kids Club Heroes Choir which was made up of children whose parents are in the armed forces, the initiative has now expanded and working with local businesses and charities to support military families, to offer the children emotional wellbeing and support.

Devonport Naval Heritage Centre

Luke at the Devonport Naval Heritage Centre
Luke at the Devonport Naval Heritage Centre

I finished the day with a visit to the Devonport Naval Heritage Centre, ahead of its reopening in March.

There, I met a group of knowledgeable volunteers who are working to improve the visitor experience at the Heritage Centre, which is overflowing with artefacts and memories from the long and rich history of our Royal Navy.

The galleries include the Age of Sail, the Devonport Gallery, Uniform through the Ages and the Post-War Model Ships.

As the son of a Royal Navy Submariner based in Devonport, I was particularly thrilled to have a go at an authentic periscope which gives you 360 views of the area. You can spot the Torpoint ferry, the historic Dockyard buildings and much more.

The site and visitor centre will open to the public on the 20th March free of charge – just as Devonport celebrates it’s 200 year anniversary this year.

Luke looking into the Devonport periscope
Luke looking into the Devonport periscope
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