Our Parliamentary Candidate, Alex Sobel, is a committed campaigner for co-operatives and Community enterprises. His day job involves supporting and setting up enterprises like Enabled Works here in Leeds – the replacement for Remploy, helping the disabled to work and fulfill their potential.

Alex on the platform with Shadow minister Lisa Nandy at the Social Investment Summit
Alex on the platform with Shadow minister Lisa Nandy at the Social Investment Summit
It was because of this that he found himself on the platform at Labour’s Conference speaking alongside Lisa Nandy – shadow minister for Civil Society.
So, as part of our series on Labour’s Government team in waiting, we thought you might like to hear more about Lisa.

Lisa Nandy was born in the North West in 1979 and brought up in Greater Manchester and Bury. She was elected as the Member of Parliament for Wigan in May 2010. She lives in the centre of Wigan.
Lisa graduated from Newcastle University in 2001, and later earned a Masters degree from the University of London, studying as a mature student.
Before entering Parliament she worked for a national children’s charity, The Children’s Society, helping to ensure that children who are abused, ill-treated or growing up in poverty get the help they need from Government and wider society. She also did two years at the youth homeless charity Centrepoint where she helped to push through changes so that no 16 or 17 year old could any longer be placed into unsafe bed and breakfast accommodation. She’s continued to show her commitment to young people. Since she has been elected, for example, Lisa has played a leading role in the Parliamentary campaign to save the Educational Maintenance Allowance.
Lisa joined the Labour Party after witnessing the devastation Thatcher’s Government caused to communities across the North West. She has been active in her community ever since – as a school governor, a charity trustee, a director of a local theatre and as a Labour councillor leading on housing and regeneration.
She is also a committed supporter and grassroots activist in the trade union movement – ever since her first job in a call centre. She’s a member of the CWU and UNITE unions.
In October 2013 Lisa was appointed Shadow Minister for Civil Society with responsibility for charities, co-ops & mutuals, lobbying and supporting the Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office on public bodies. .
Like Alex, Lisa is committed to the voluntary Third Sector – and to taking the contribution it can make very seriously.
‘The purpose and mission of the next Labour government will be “people-powered public services”, pushing power downwards, out of Whitehall, so that all people, and not just those at the top, have the chance to shape their lives and services. . . .This puts the voluntary sector in a critical position.. . . . Putting people back in control means there is not just one “right” way of doing things and no universal delivery mechanism, except to start with the energy, passion, creativity and strength in communities and build from there. As charities that support people day in, day out will know, you have to start with the potential that people have and not the problems they pose.’

We’re looking forward to seeing both of them working together at Westminster after next May.

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