A group of our Upper School students took part in a lively group debate at the recent Develop Croydon Conference.
They were part of a group of forty young people from across the borough at the engaging and informative Youth Summit.
Titled “Generation Croydon”, the overall theme of this year’s conference was how the town’s ongoing regeneration will cater for all ages – both young and the old.
Sponsored by the Whitgift Foundation, the Youth Summit – involving pupils, aged 15-18, from Trinity School, Old Palace School, Croydon College and Coulsdon College as well as teenagers from OnSide Youth Zone – was designed to discover what the younger generations wanted from the future of their home borough.
The group were split into four round-table discussions, looking at culture, housing, workplace and infrastructure, and encouraged to pinpoint key points in each category by a team of facilitators, including: James Rogers, Community Manager, Hammerson; Hannah Durling, Community Manager, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield; Neil Chandler, Venue Director, BH Live Fairfield Halls; Harry Richards, Graduate Surveyor, SHW; Tom Lane, Head of London Region Community Development, Optivo; Katharine Glass, Director, White Label Creative and John McEntee and Ben Craig, from Network Rail.
Conference Chairman Mark Easton, the BBC’s Home Editor, joined the session for the closing stages to hear the youngster’s findings and then fed them back to the main conference hall to draw the day to a close.
“The young people need to know more about what is in their home town,” he told the attendees. “They need to know more about all the amazing employers here already. That would be a big help going forward and help make that connection much clearer.
“Croydon is a fantastic place and has changed dramatically over the past few years but it needs to stay ahead of the pack now. This place has so much going for it and you need to let the younger generations know that to ensure the future is even brighter.”
Trinity student Matthew Doherty said: “It was really interesting hearing from the people involved in the redevelopment programme for Croydon. The fact they were eagerly listening to what we had to say was amazing as it clearly shows that they want to build Croydon as a city for the long term future and not just the short term.”
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