Sutton School campaigns for safer streets 14.06.10
Students from a Carshalton secondary school are campaigning for safer streets around their school.
Pupils from the Link Secondary School have spent the last couple of months preparing a presentation which will include photos and animations detailing the state of the streets in their area.
Eight sixth form students will present their findings to police officers, councillors and MP Tom Brake at a talk on Wednesday (16 June). The pupils will share their views on their local area, including what they like, dislike, and things they wish to change.
The aim of the talk is to get more students to walk to school by raising awareness of some of the issues they face on the street and what can be done to fix them.
The presentation, which will take place at the school, is part of the 'Step up Campaign' funded by the charity 'Living Streets' in partnership with Sutton Council.
'Step Up' aims to give young activists the skills and support they need to campaign to improve the streets where they live and go to school.
Cllr Kirsty Jerome, Executive Member for Education and Schools on Sutton Council, said: "Encouraging young people to take an interest in their local streets is a key way to increase the amount of walking they do.
"I look forward to hearing what these students have to say and seeing if there is anything we can do to encourage more to get walking to school."
Tony Armstrong, Chief Executive of Living Streets said: "As it stands, less than half of secondary school pupils walk to school, which means they miss out on a regular source of exercise and socialising.
"We need to get back into the habit of walking short journeys, both to make sure our children know their own communities and are gradually given more independence, but also to ensure they aren't getting used to sedentary lifestyles that will come to haunt them and their health in future years.
"If we can help teenagers make walking the natural choice again, we have a huge opportunity to prevent the scale of obesity as predicted."
Step Up is funded by the Big Lottery Fund's Wellbeing programme and targets teenagers and encourages them to use their knowledge and inspiration to create a fresh way of spreading the walking message.
A quarter of under 17s say they never walk for 20 minutes or more at a time, resulting in serious consequences for their health. In addition to this, government statistics show that over half of the population are likely to be clinically obese by 2050