Stamford Youth Panel youngsters aim to clean up Stamford

Makayla Taplin, 13, centre, helps keep Stamford litter free with the help of  fellow members of Teenzone, from left, Amelai Dodge, 13, Alex Jeffries, 13, Amy Fraser, 11, and Reece Newton, 10'Photo: SM280312-188js
Makayla Taplin, 13, centre, helps keep Stamford litter free with the help of fellow members of Teenzone, from left, Amelai Dodge, 13, Alex Jeffries, 13, Amy Fraser, 11, and Reece Newton, 10'Photo: SM280312-188js
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A GROUP of youngsters have taken it upon themselves to make Stamford a cleaner place.

Members of Stamford Youth Panel were shocked by the amount of rubbish they found on the Recreation Ground during a litter pick that they decided to write to mayor of Stamford, Coun John Binder, about the problem.

The letter was read out at a council meeting last week and councillors were so impressed that they decided to take some of the youngsters’ ideas on board.

Makayla Taplin, 13, of Elizabeth Road, Stamford, wrote the letter to the council on the youth panel’s behalf.

She said: “When we did the litter pick we got quite a lot of rubbish down on The Rec. We want to try to make Stamford a better place to live so we informed the mayor about the litter pick.

“We did it to show older people who we really are and that we are not all the same.”

The group’s ideas included putting more bins around the town, introducing more bins specifically for dog mess and organising educational days and leaflets encouraging people to pick up litter and put it in the bin.

Coun Binder was full of praise for the youngsters and wrote back to Makayla personally. The Stamford Queen Eleanor School pupil was delighted with the response.

She said: “It’s good that the council are actually going to do something about it. We wanted to put our point across.”

Katie Burke, 13, who took part in the litter pick and helped write the letter, added: “The litter pick was our first event as a youth panel and we wanted people to see that we are not selfish and we don’t just think about ourselves.

“It will hopefully make Stamford a cleaner place.”

Katie said the experience could encourage some of the panel members to stand for Stamford Town Council in the future.

Ali Rigby runs youth group Teenzone, which set up the youth panel. He said: “The panel started off by thinking of things they thought could be improved in Stamford and litter was one of them.

“They have done really well. In everything they do they want to raise awareness and let people know what they think.”

Coun Binder added: “It’s nice to see such young people going to the trouble to think not only about needing to pick up the litter but also to actually stop people from dropping it in the first place. We will have to follow their ideas up.”

The youth panel’s next project is the Snap Festival, which will take place on The Rec later this year. The festival aims to teach young people about drugs in a fun way.