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They may only be 10 year olds, but Year 5 pupils from Tangmere have already been dabbling in politics and making a difference in their local community.

The Care Lovers Party have brought the older and younger generations together, while the Chill Park Party and the Skate Park Savers Party are in talks with the local parish council about funding improvements in the local play area and park.

Pupils from Tangmere Academy

This is all part of a local democracy scheme called 'Ideas into Action' that Chichester District Council's Youth Engagement team are taking into schools across the area. The idea is to make young people understand the importance of local democracy - and to give them the chance to develop their own political party that focuses on particular issues that matter to them.

The Care Lovers Party wanted to bring the young and older generations together by organising a day out for some of the older residents in the area. The children applied for funding from the Chichester Joint Action Group (JAG) for a minibus to take ten members of the Tuesday Club and five pupils from Tangmere Academy out for an afternoon. They enjoyed a trip to Aldingbourne Country Centre. It was such a success, that the Tuesday Club has invited the children to one of their meetings for a chat and to play games so they can stay in contact.

As part of their work children in the Care Lovers Party also designed a leaflet to help promote the Tuesday Club, which was printed professionally. The children have been busy distributing it to local shops, the church and doctor's surgery to help increase club membership.

Some of the other parties included the Chill Park Party and the Skate Park Savers Party. They have been looking at ways to improve the local play area and park.  They delivered an excellent presentation to Tangmere Parish Council, which agreed to apply for funding for a special 'Froggo Fun Bin'. The bin is due to be installed close to the younger children's play area to encourage them to put their litter in the frog! The parish council is also gathering quotes for some play and exercise equipment, which they are considering installing on the playing field.

Finally, the Dog Lovers Party helped to promote responsible dog ownership by inviting Chichester District Council's Dog Wardens in to give the school a talk. They also teamed with the Junior Wardens to highlight the problem of dog fouling.

Councillor Eileen Lintill, Cabinet Member for Community Services at Chichester District Council and chair of the Chichester Community Safety Partnership says: "We have been touched by how the children from Tangmere Academy have really got involved in the project and have taken it to another level. They really care about their local community and the people in it and so I hope that this stays with them and that they continue to make a difference in the years ahead. I'd like to congratulate the children for their enthusiasm and hard work - they are a credit to their school and their families."

Paul Turney, Head teacher from Tangmere Academy, adds,

"Their presentations to the Parish Council and the manner in which they responded to the questioning, revealed just how much hard work they had put in and their passion to improve their local community. I think it was very empowering for them to see that through the work that they did, changes were made and that their ideas were listened and responded to. I am incredibly proud of all the children involved and what they achieved - it just shows what a difference children can make!"


Communities Team

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