Pupils From Todmorden High School Have Their Say In A Specially Organised Workshop
Young people from Todmorden High School relished the opportunity to have their say in a specially organised workshop on the plans and ideas in the Todmorden Investment Plan (TIP). Through the TIP, spearheaded by Todmorden Town Deal Board, Todmorden stands to gain up to £25M of investment funding through the government’s Town’s Fund scheme.
In a lively workshop, young participants praised their town for its green spaces, heritage, arts and culture – and expressed pride in Todmorden, along with an ambition to see it make the most of everything it has to offer. In particular, they were keen to see development of green spaces, such as Centre Vale Park and the Pollination Street garden at the centre of the plan. Addressing the challenges of climate change was a vital aspect of how the town is developed for the future from the group’s point of view. And there was a call for more affordable and accessible activities for young people in the town, and spaces available for their use.
Amelia, Year 7 pupil said;
“I love the idea of everything and Todmorden will be a better and stronger place with the help of us all.”
Margot, Year 8 pupil said:
“One thing I think is really great is the idea of having some sort of hotel for travellers to go to if they just want a quick place to stay overnight. I think this is a good idea because there is a lot of people who go out cycling or even just walking and need somewhere to stay.”
Eve, Year 10, commented on the value of arts opportunities in the town;
“It’s important to keep places like the Hippodrome open because it is used for many things such as dance recitals and performances- to give people opportunities to potentially change their life.”
Oscar, Year 11, is pleased young people are being involved and highlights the need for learning resources and opportunities the wider community;
“It is great that the Todmorden Town Fund is including young people from the area on where to spend this money, as we are a large part of the community who will benefit from this investment in the future. I really like the idea of the Community College being refurbished to be used by anyone. This is a great opportunity to level up not only Todmorden but the whole area.”
The Todmorden Investment Plan covers a range of projects promoting wellbeing and outdoor leisure, providing affordable housing, developing environmental and creative skills, creating diverse employment opportunities, investing in creative, learning and enterprise facilities, stimulating the visitor economy and creating high-quality civic space.
Amilia, Year 11 said;
“It was amazing for us to see the potential plans for Todmorden, I know I’m not the only one who was very inspired by the group and their passion for their project. I can’t wait to see the results!”
Bryony, Year 8 pupil was keen to see indoor spaces for young people where support for mental health is available, as part of the plan:
“I think that people our age would like a youth centre where you can go inside because there’s not a lot of places to go with your friends that is dry. There could also be some space where you could go to get support with your mental health or any private concerns.”
The engagement workshop with the young people from Todmorden High School took place online and was attended by Headteacher, Gill Shirt who is delighted her pupils are involved in developing the future vision of their town. She said;
“Thanks to all involved, I am very proud of our students and the plan looks tremendous. We hope to keep our involvement at a high level.”
Shannon Jackson, Youth Engagement Specialist and Todmorden resident is working with the Todmorden Town Deal Board’s communications sub-group, to ensure young people’s views are heard by the board and incorporated within the plans for Todmorden. She said;
“Working with Gill, Simon and the students at Todmorden High was wonderful and a great start to ensuring young people have a voice and equal right to participate in the regeneration of our Town. They are the future that we are pushing to empower and support, and in every conversation, I’ve had it’s been inspiring to see so many ideas and so much passion for making our community stronger already. This is a generation that have so much insight, awareness and skills to bring, and the more we can build for and with them, the stronger we will all be for it.”
Chair of the board’s communications group, Stephen Curry said:
“It is not the remit of the board to directly fund youth provision in the town, but to fulfil our promise to engage with them, we have been working to identify external investment funding to facilitate early engagement with the youth advocates. This is just the start of the approach to working with Todmorden’s diverse young people to make sure they help us as a board shape the town of the future that they want to see.”