Students from Woodbridge High School have been contributing ideas to the South Woodford Society’s Neighbourhood Plan, and are keen to emphasise sustainability. Sheila Qazi and Kate Sheehan report
At Woodbridge, we are very lucky to have students who are extremely passionate about living in a community that is sustainable. Their appetite is largely fuelled by their involvement in our amazing Climate Crisis Committee.
So, when the opportunity arose for our students to have their voices heard on issues affecting South Woodford and what we as a community could do to improve the area, we had every confidence they would rise to the challenge… and they did.
The committee met with three members of the South Woodford Society and discussed a number of important topics. Students spoke openly regarding what they felt was lacking in the area and their opinions were listened to. After a lengthy exchange, a plan was formulated of the next steps, and these will be reviewed at our next meeting in October.
A student representative said: “I attended a workshop in school to be part of a youth panel. The workshop involved us working with members of the South Woodford Society sustainability committee. The aim of the workshop was to allow young people the opportunity to express their views on the services provided in South Woodford and how sustainable South Woodford is. We worked together to generate ideas of what could be improved in the area, what services are lacking and what strategies could be put in place to help improve sustainability in the local area. I really enjoyed the workshop as it allowed us to express our views and have our voices heard. I also learnt a lot of information about what is currently taking place to make South Woodford more sustainable. Another meeting has been scheduled for October and I am very much looking forward to attending this with my friends.”
South Woodford Society member Rena Pathak added: “The South Woodford Society is a community-led organisation dedicated to building a stronger community, supporting local businesses and making South Woodford an even better place to live, work and visit. The Society is writing a Neighbourhood Plan for South Woodford so we can all have a say about services, facilities and houses we have in the area. An important part of writing the plan is gaining the ideas of young people, as they will be the future of our community. We had a student engagement session where students were asked what they wanted to see or improve in the area on various topics, including the environment, arts and culture, sports and leisure, economic issues, crime, transport and housing. Their thoughts and aspirations will be used to feed into the plan so we can incorporate their voice in all future development in the area.”
For more information on the South Woodford Society, visit swvg.co.uk/sws
For more information on Woodbridge High School, visit swvg.co.uk/whs