Previously, our citizens UK group were able to organise a meeting with the Borough Commander of Greenwich (Simon Dobinson) with the support of Sophie Linden the deputy Mayor of London. This took place on the 16th of July. Mr Dobinson agreed to visit our school to discuss our local issues such as street safety and street lighting. The meeting was very important to us as we saw our campaign as being a very serious one which widely affects our local community. The meeting was opened by our Head of School Ms Malone, who greeted everyone present. Others in attendance were: Greenwich Free School, Greenwich Borough Commander Dobinson, Chief Inspector Sharpington and our own School Police Officer, PC Verrall.
We debated our issues with Mr Dobinson and explained what they meant to us personally. He challenged us with some valid points - one being that it would be impossible for police officers to cover all issues when there are limited numbers of officers on duty and whilst listening to his feedback we realised not all of our proposals were possible. However, the meeting concluded as a positive one, with the Borough Commander offering to hold a follow up meeting in April of next year to discuss how we would move forward.
Due to all our hard work and our achievements we were rewarded with a trip – which we got to choose. As a group we came up with many different places to go: Margate, Brighton or Southend. We took a vote and the majority of us agreed it would be Southend, as there were so many things to do there. We were (mostly) lucky with the weather and enjoyed a sunny day out at the coast. We spent most of the day at Adventure Island, where the rides were fantastic. It really was a fun filled day and everyone was grateful to Richard for organising the trip for us (more so as Richard and Diana paid for our lunch!) Even though it rained badly for a short amount of time it still didn’t affect our mood -we were too excited going on the rides to really notice. During the day there was not a moment when anybody was unamused or unhappy. Before we left, most of us purchased a slush puppy for the hot ride home in the mini bus.
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On the 12th of September we had a school assembly directed by Ms Malone awarding us with our certificate of achievements for completing a Community Leadership course with Research and Campaigns aimed at making our local area safer for young people.
Sadly, Froilan (our citizens UK leader) informed us he was leaving Citizens UK. This was upsetting news to hear as he helped us through our campaign. Froilan was a very good role model to us as Citizens UK students. He was able to change our perception of things and helped us to see the bigger picture - how important our environment is. We will miss Froilan and hope he may continue to be a good leader to other young people in a different role. One of the things we girls will remember him for is the advice he gave us as young women. This included being more active in the political meetings and for us to be more vocal, open and confident in voicing our opinions. What stood out for the boys was the encouragement to speak out in front of a large audience and to have a better understanding how the political process worked.
We wish Froilan the very best & a healthy happy future.
Moving forward we are keen to work with the new appointee of Citizens UK in November. We are determined to continue to achieve our goals for a safer community.