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Making our towns better places

Making our towns better places

Picnic table makeovers and mazes with native birds were among the winning ideas as Lincoln University’s student Future Leader Scholars turned to an even younger generation to help improve their world.

The students run ‘Lend a Hand’, an initiative started in 2011 to give back to the community, and has raised funds for a number of charities such as the Van Ash Deaf Education Centre, Burwood Spinal Unit and Youthline.

This year they tried something different, running the ‘My Town’ children’s design competition.

“Our mission was to encourage action in the community and give the children of the Selwyn District a helping hand in being creative, and making their town a good place to live,” says organiser Emma Petersen.

“Children are major users of public space, experiencing it from a different perspective to anyone else and we need to embrace this.”

The group ran a series of workshops at local primary schools in preparation for the presentations at Lincoln University.

The winning idea, from a Ladbrooks School team, was to spruce up the picnic table at local parks, by decorating them. The maze, the second-placed idea from Leeston Primary School would be for primary age children and use native plants and have a native bird theme.

Third-placed Dream Big, from another Ladbrooks School group, aimed to collect second-hand books to give to children who needed them, and read to students who do not have English as their first language.

The Future Leader Scholars will work with the winning team to help implement their idea, Emma says

She says children see the world differently and this was something which showed through in the designs.

“We often get so caught up in the big problems, worrying that there’s not enough time, not enough money and we are not big enough to make a big change. We get caught up in the big problems. We forget to smell the roses.

“That is what the children of My Town have reminded us to do.”

Judges included Lincoln University Chancellor Tom Lambie and Selwyn MP and Minister, Amy Adams.

Caption: Ladbrooks School’s Power Paint team celebrate winning first prize in the My Town competition.


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