Schoolchildren have signed up to a new branch of Pontefract’s civic society.
Pupils at Carleton Park J&I School are the first youngsters to join the town’s Junior Civic Society, which aims to engage more young people in civic issues.
They will be able to have their say on how the town can improve, as well as getting involved in events such as the unveiling of Pontefract’s new Magna Carta monument.
Martin Lodge, the civic society’s vice chairman said: “Pontefract Civic Society are like the custodians of the town and we are doing things that we think are for the good of the town.
“But we need input from young people to see what they want the future of the town to be. The Junior Civic Society will give them a voice.
“We will ask them what is good and what is bad about Pontefract and what we can do to help make it a better place to live and work.”
Mr Lodge hopes getting more schools to join the junior society will lead to more young people taking an interest in the town and being proud of what it has to offer.
He said: “Sometimes, because you live in the town, you don’t necessarily think about it but Pontefract has a lot to offer and that’s the other thing we have been pushing for, for people to recognise that.”
He said he also hopes the scheme will generate future members of the main Civic Society.
“Society members in their late fifties are among the youngest,” he said. “It would be wonderful in the long term if some of these junior members became involved in the main society, but just having them involved is great.” Members of the Junior Civic Society will be given a section of the main society’s newsletter to share their views about the town and any work they do which involves learning about or improving the wider community.They will be able to take part in events to celebrate the town and projects to improve its future.
The Pontefract Civic Society will also support the junior branch and its member schools with educational materials, so children can learn about the area’s history and heritage. Students will also be told about the work the main society does to improve the town. Year five and six students at Carleton Park are currently learning about the Second World War. The civic society has offered the school memorabilia, photographs and artefacts as well as two guest speakers to share their experiences of living through war.
For more information or to get involved, schools and colleges can contact Mr Lodge by email to firstname.lastname@example.org