This month we brought the film “Tomorrow” to the Floral Hall. It was a film made by young people full of inspirational examples of how we might deal with the current problems facing us and of how we can create a positive future for ourselves. I sent invitations to the schools and offered to lend them the film as I felt sure that it would have a positive and lasting impact on the students. Sadly, the offer was not taken up and although there was a good turnout for the film at the Floral, I cannot recall anyone under the age of 50 being there.
The following weekend I passed through the school on my way to the allotments and saw the car park full, as is usually the case when there are football matches involving the children, It occurred to me that we appear to have two separate communities sharing the same town. On the one hand we have the schools and the young families doing their own thing, with busy working parents who shop out of town or at Tesco and generally have very little to do with the many community groups that organise all the events in the town. These groups on the other hand are made up largely of the over 50’s who do still frequent the town centre and its shops, attend the activities and are the movers and
shakers shaping the town’s future.
There are initiatives to bring the two “communities” together and engage the younger generations more in the activities of the town. The Carnival Committee for example have made a big effort in recent years to include more cultural events such as the music tent in their programme. The Town Council have also had some success with the Youth Club and Skate Park.
However one wonders whether much more could be achieved if we put our minds to it. I know that many of our community groups lament the lack of participation from the younger generations and yearn for the input of fresh energies, ideas and enthusiasm. Just think what could be achieved if we were able to channel some of the energy, creativity and talent of our younger generations into improving our town.
The schools would, and perhaps should, play a pivotal role in this endeavour, but it just seems that they are too overwhelmed by the huge demands placed on them from above to be able to place community integration very high on their list of priorities. Is there any way we can change this situation? I must confess that this one has got me stumped but perhaps you, our readers, have got some ideas. It would be particularly nice to hear from some under 50’s on the subject! Ed
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