Reporters interviewing the Mayor of Abingdon aren’t usually treated to juice and biscuits, but then the six young people who visited Duncan Brown weren’t usual reporters.They were pupils from Carswell Primary School, there to launch a new lottery-funded project, TrinityLearning News.
Accompanied by TrinityLearning’s Education Officer, Rosemary Perrow, and Head Teacher Sue Gore, the children listened intently and busily took notes as the mayor fielded questions that ranged from his educational background to the work of his charities and his future hopes for Abingdon. The children’s reports will appear in their very own newsletter about and for their own community. They have chosen to distribute it free to care homes and day-centres in Abingdon. From content to format and distribution, the group will make all the decisions and do all the work – in just six two-hour sessions. Besides putting classroom skills into practice, they’ll be learning life-skills like team-work, responsibility and working to deadlines.
“We went to the mayor’s parlour in town. As we got there the mayor wasn't there, in fact he was on his way to the shops, to get us refreshments. Over all we asked him fourteen knowledgeable questions. He rewarded us with a fire fighter pen, to promote fire safety. The Mayor gave us the impression that he was a very nice person because he allowed us to interview him.” Kundai & Ajay
First get a seed and plant it in Abingdon. Mr Brown was watered well by his mum and dad. When he was just a little seedling he wanted to grow in to an actor. Now he is fully grown he thinks that being a mayor means he can be a bit of an actor – so he has achieved his ambition! Later on when this plant had finished nursery he went to Durham University to study Theology. As a mature plant he felt it was important to work for the community so the mayor was elected to join the town council. After a long sunny time he was chosen to be the mayor. It is an important job. It’s a good experience and he uses his skills. Fertilizer made him such a strong plant that he now has three jobs. Duncan Brown is a part time fire fighter which he enjoys. He also works in an optician where he makes, mends and fits spectacles. As the mayor he enjoys meeting interesting people especially young people like us. Mr Brown also likes being interviewed by the newspapers and he enjoys supporting charities. He would like to improve the town centre. He is concerned about Dalton Barracks it’s an important part of the town and its future needs to be assured.
When this group have finished, a team from Thameside took their place. There have now been several schools who have been involved.
The first year, including a new worker was funded by a £6300 grant from The Big Lottery Fund.
“We see this as recognition of the importance education has in society” says Rosemary. “It also recognises the wider spin-offs of TrinityLearning News. We hear so much about problems caused by young people – this is a chance for the community to see them in a positive light.”