David Lammy MP stars in inspiring “100 Lives” campaign
Rising political star says Young Enterprise gave him confidence - and some emotional memories
The Rt Hon David Lammy MP features in the prestigious 100 Lives Campaign, being launched by Junior Achievement Worldwide, our sister organisation.
He has recorded a video as part of the initiative which is being rolled out in advance of the year 2019 that will mark 100 years of JA work enhancing young lives around the world.
David is one of 100 alumni who are making a difference in the world. He said:
“My name’s David Lammy and I am the Member of Parliament for Tottenham.
“My background was really one of poverty – we were quite poor. My father arrived in Britain in 1956. He came here for Guayana, South America, and came with big dreams. He wanted to be a pharmacist. Things didn’t quite work out like that but he met my mother and they settled in a small flat in North London and actually where they settled is the area I represent as the local Member of Parliament.
“And things weren’t easy and in fact my father’s business didn’t go so well and he left us when I was young and it was a difficult time in Britain at that point.
“I got my big break when I was given a choral scholarship in music to go to a Cathedral School in Peterborough. That was my opportunity and that’s where I came across Young Enterprise.
“I did not come from an entrepreneurial background. My only experience of business was watching my father’s small business fail. Junior Achievement, or Young Enterprise as we call it in the UK, gave me a kind of confidence. It gave me the sense that I can.
“We were a team of us actually across ages in our school working together for the first time producing things and selling things. It created a buzz. I remember it with lots of joy. And I think now when you are a Member of Parliament where you have to be independent minded, where you have to make judgements, sometimes you have to sell in the sense of persuading people to follow you, that a lot of those skills came from that period.
“One of the things we did was we made a Christmas card and my best friend who was in it with me sent me that Christmas card last Christmas. He had kept the cards and so I got the Christmas card through my door and I opened this thing and there it was and I have to say it was a hugely emotional moment.
“I had not seen this Christmas card for 22 years… (Laughs) 23 years so I could not believe that here it was in front of me. It was wonderful being able to show this Christmas card to my two sons so very very recently Junior Achievement and Young Enterprise has been very much at the forefront of my mind and my family’s and actually the card is still there on my mantelpiece in my office.”