Dozens of young people shared their ideas and successes in promoting safer and smarter journeys to their schools at a conference at the STEAM museum in June.
The students are all School Travel Ambassadors and are part of the School Travel Ambassador scheme, run by Swindon Borough Council to encourage safe, healthy and sustainable travel to and from schools across the borough.
More than 30 schools, from infant to secondary including special schools, are now taking part in the scheme, which began in October last year. It is sponsored by Swindon-based Arval UK Ltd.
Travel Ambassadors, who range in age between six and 15, work in groups within their school communities to organise events, campaigns and competitions to promote the aims of the project.
The STEAM conference gave them a chance to share their ideas with other schools, learn new skills to help them in their role, and celebrate what they have achieved so far. They took part in a variety of workshops to give them the skills to carry out effective surveys, design promotional material and use different technologies to spread their messages.
Cllr Keith Williams, Swindon Borough Council Cabinet member for Leisure and Strategic Transport, who officially opened the conference, said: “It’s right that school pupils should be at the heart of efforts to positively influence the travel choices of their peers, parents and the wider community.
“They have some great ideas, and the lessons they learn in promoting them will help with their studies and their wider personal development.”
The School Travel Ambassador role involves:
Being a point of liaison between the Road Safety/School Travel team and the school community
Promoting road safety and smarter travel messages within school – notice board, assemblies, website pages etc
Leading activities in school – travel surveys, campaigns such as Walk to School week, special events and competitions
Representing their school at wider events, such as school travel conferences
The STEAM conference was organised by officers from Swindon Borough Council’s highways team, supported by staff from Arval UK Ltd. Staff from Nationwide’s Citizenship team and community radio station Swindon 105.5FM was also on hand to teach pupils relevant skills.