YOUNG people with learning difficulties and disabilities have been raising their concerns with a Sunderland MP.
Julie Elliott met members of City Equals at the Awards Centre, in Pallion as part of Youth Work Week.
The national event sees MPs from across the country visit a range of youth projects.
City Equals, an advisory and advocacy group, holds regular meetings to give young people aged 14 to 25 with learning difficulties and disabilities the chance to debate key issues affecting them.
Members recently produced a DVD based on questions they would like to ask politicians about the challenges they face.
During her visit, the MP for Sunderland Central chatted with young people, praising their “powerful voice” in the city and urged them to keep up the good work.
“I was very pleased to be invited,” she said.
“City Equals is a powerful voice in Sunderland representing the views and advocating on behalf of young people with learning difficulties and disabilities.”
Members said the group has helped change their lives by “fighting for young people’s rights” and providing a “listening service”.
Jenny Dimmock, 24, said: “Being involved with this group has help me to become more confident. It has been nice having Julie take the time to come out and visit us.”
City councillor Pat Smith, Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for children and learning, said: “The young people have demonstrated that having learning difficulties and disabilities is no barrier to acquiring the skills needed for the world of work.”