Just before the House rose for summer recess, Robin Walker, MP for Worcester, and a long

term supporter of St. Paul’s Hostel which is based in his constituency, met with their literacy

co-ordinator and 11 of their service users to discuss the history of the Palace of



The service users posed questions to Robin on the role of an MP, how voting happens in the

House of Commons Chamber and the role of the Magna Carta. Robin had the chance to

share his historical knowledge of the Palace and enjoyed meeting members from St Paul’s,

who were keen to engage with him. He gave the participants a short tour and then took

questions from them in the House of Commons Chamber.


Previously the Constituency Team have supported St Paul’s ‘Kitchen Project’, which is an

initiative designed to teach basic professional cookery skills and has led to some of the

trainees obtaining permanent employment in the catering sector. The programme culminates

in an end of course dinner, where the trainees cook for paying guests and the proceeds of

which are put back into the work of the hostel. Additionally, Robin has also donated books to

the ‘creative group’, as part of his previous role on the Business, Innovation and Skills Select

Committee inquiry into adult literacy and has supported their work to improve the literacy and

numeracy skills of those using the service to enable them to progress from the hostel to

independent accommodation.


Robin visited St Pauls Hostel last year and met with their creative group to both present

them with certificates for some of the work they had been doing with Centrepoint’s ‘Lifewise

Scheme’. During his visit, he also heard about the challenges they face in tackling addiction,

social isolation and dyslexia. Yesterday’s visit was a chance to reconnect with some group

members and to see how they have progressed since last summer.


Robin said:

“The Palace of Westminster is the heart of British democracy and should be enjoyed by all –

it is sometimes not known that the tour of the building is free to all who are interested. It is

always a pleasure to welcome local groups from my constituency to share in the history of

the Palace and to help ensure that the aim of the House authorities to have a ‘well-informed’

democracy is realised. This means ensuring that all groups, whether schools or local

organisations, benefit from this offer.”


“On a separate note, it is important to me that both my office and I maintain a positive and

close relationship with this important local charity who do excellent work in the city in tackling

a number of social issues. My staff and I have been really inspired to meet with members of

St Pauls’ creative group and to hear their stories. We always enjoy the opportunity to meet

with them and to engage with the work that they are doing. We look forward to continuing to

do so in the future.”


Notes to Editors:

St Paul’s exists to provide accommodation and support to single homeless people within

Worcester City and around the county.

As well as the main 46 bed hostel it also operates a ‘dry’ house, a substance misuse service

for street drinkers, rough sleeper outreach, resettlement services.


For previous releases on St Pauls see: