The Ipswich Society has continued to work with Suffolk New College. As a result students from the BTEC Extended Diploma in Business were invited, along with their tutor Ian Howlett, to the 2011 Society Awards evening which is reported more fully in this Newsletter.
The four students (Emily Barber, Jeyda Yilmaz, PJ Banjo and Amy Carpenter) were welcomed to the event by our Chairman, Jack Chapman, during his opening address. A warm round of applause was afforded the students reflecting the audience's delight at seeing younger members of the local community at the Awards. It's a small step but they managed to reduce the average age of attendees by just a bit between them!
This was an opportunity for the students to observe the Society's power point display of nominated buildings and listen to the judges' comments on them, culminating in the presentation of certificates to successful nominees. They were able to meet the Award recipients, architects and designers, building contractors and members of the local business community - all valuable experience that will add to the knowledge and experience gained during their studies.
Very importantly they have provided valuable feedback to the Society on what they thought of the evening. Their comments will be included in discussions to improve future events such as the Awards evening. This means the Society has benefited from the student engagement and will respond to their constructive comments.
Once again I have been impressed by the positive outlook and contribution of the students. Young people today face many challenges in preparing for their future careers. Given the opportunity, they have much to offer. We must all invite and value their views and ideas in shaping our towns for the future. After all, it is those young people who will go on to work and live in our communities.
So, business and local authority leaders - note the title of this short article. I am suggesting and encouraging you all to "Engage with Young People!" My experience confirms they add great value to discussion and debate.