Active Ambassadors push sustainable school travel
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As part of an Active Travel to School project running throughout South Gloucestershire, all of the pupils at Wheatfield Primary School were given the chance to apply to become an Active Ambassador (pupil helper). One pupil from each class in years 3 to 6 (ages 7 to 11) has been chosen for the role and will have the responsibility of encouraging everyone in their school to walk, cycle or scoot to school.
The Active Ambassadors will decide their own way of encouraging their fellow students and in turn parents, to change the way they travel to and from school. Previous examples have included designing posters to put up around the school, helping to run an event, or presenting an assembly where they tell the rest of the school about the importance of sustainable travel.
Vicky Moore, Active Travel to Schools Officer for South Gloucestershire met with the Active Ambassadors at Wheatfield Primary School for the first time today to discuss ideas for events and activities that they could run within their school. The Ambassadors also carried out their first bike and scooter count of the project.
Vicky said: “It’s fantastic to be working with such an energetic team of pupils who know how to get everyone involved in the project. Being an Active Ambassador gives the pupils the chance to have their say and builds self-esteem and confidence. This is a great opportunity to learn new skills and take on a variety of responsibilities.”
“The Active Ambassadors that have been selected were particularly enthusiastic about the benefits of active travel, such as, improved health and reduced environmental impact, and were especially keen to pass the message on to others.”
Each school involved in the project also has their own school champion, an enthusiastic teacher, receptionist or parent who will help motivate the school.
Steve Bye, School Champion and Year 6 teacher, said: “It’s fabulous to be involved in such a worthwhile and exciting project. The children understand the benefits of active travel to their bodies and to their planet. We have received lots of support through the Active Travel project and are looking forward to seeing the difference it will make to our school.”
Active Ambassador Tanishq Davande said: “We will be doing lots of fun things to involve our school, like competitions, breakfasts, assemblies and the ‘Golden Lock’ – whoever finds it on their bike or scooter gets to pick a prize!”
The Active Travel to School project is funded by the Department for Transport as part of the Local Sustainable Transport Fund. Coordinated regionally under the West of England partnership, the project is delivered in partnership with sustainable transport charity, Sustrans, along with the unitary authorities of Bath and North East Somerset Council, Bristol City Council, North Somerset Council and South Gloucestershire Council.
In South Gloucestershire two road safety assistants – Nic Barnett and Caroline Williams, who are employed by South Gloucestershire Council, are working with Vicky Moore to deliver the project throughout the region.
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