Students video call Trafford Council to discuss hot topics

Students video call Trafford Council to discuss hot topics

Students have taken to video conferencing software to share hot topics with Trafford Council, including one of the positive impacts of lockdown – the improvement in the environment.

Members of the student campaign body, the Equalities Council, met with the Children and Families Scrutiny Committee to discuss the top issues from a nationwide poll of 11-18 year-olds, with sustainability as well as mental health services topping the agenda.

Following presentations about the impact of fast fashion from student Dalal Mkoun and ocean waste from learner Ahmed Darouache, Magnus Cole from the College shared his views on the impact lockdown has had during the Covid-19 crisis.

He said: “What has been interesting about the Coronavirus is that it has been a massive positive for climate change. There has been a huge decrease in fuel consumption and our cars in terms of the air we breathe, not just locally, but for the whole planet.”

Special guest to the virtual meeting, Head of Environmental Policy at Greater Manchester Combined Authority Sam Evans, then quizzed students for their views on how to sustain the reduction of CO2 emissions. The environmental benefits of lockdown would form part of the region’s recovery plan, he added.

Student Michael Jarkowski gave a presentation on mental health services for young people in Trafford, after a personal account from fellow learner Lucy Holden.

Michael said: “While we have really good pastoral support at Trafford College some people are left to deal with mental health problems without any additional help.”

He called on Trafford Council to overhaul the look of its directory of mental health services for young people to make it more attractive and accessible to the borough’s youth, to look at the availability of services across all parts of the borough and asked the Council to encourage more partnerships between mental health providers and schools – like Trafford College’s community partnership with mental health care charity Mind.

Thanking College students, Chair of Children and Young People's Scrutiny Committee, Cllr Denise Western, said: “We will include your suggestions in our report and our recommendations to the Council. We all have to be cognisant that mental health is as important as physical wellbeing. I’m really pleased that we have been able to do this.”

The meeting resulted in students being invited to take part in an initiative representing young people’s views of mental health on behalf of the council.