Just recently the Chelmsford Teaching Schools Alliance staged their first ever Young Persons’ Conference. The event was attended by over 100 children from 17 primary schools, 29 teaching staff, 15 sixth formers from Chelmer Valley High School, the Mayor of Chelmsford, the Right Honourable Vicky Ford MP, Eddie the Eagle from Colchester United and Dawn Wood, one of only three woman to row single handedly across the Atlantic Ocean.

The afternoon was underpinned by five key areas for discussion, the Environment, Education, Community, Aspiration and Infrastructure.  The children had been busily working and discussing these areas with their peers back in their own schools and came to the conference armed with ideas and results from these discussions.

Each focus area had a station and the children were asked to vote in line with the results from the discussions at their schools.  All these results were then collated and the final outcome is to be communicated to the participating schools and also to the appropriate local council representatives.

Dawn Wood proved to be a tremendous inspiration to all the adults and children in  the room and the children delighted in looking around her boat and asking lots of questions including “where did you sleep?”, “what did you eat” and “did you get lonely ?”  Her commitment and dedication to raising awareness of plastic pollution is astonishing and she continues to fund raise for the Marine Conservation Society so their important work can continue.

More informing regarding Dawn’s adventure can be found on her website https://rowaurora.co.uk/) and donations to this worthwhile cause can be made via her fundraising page (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rowaurora).