Shrewsbury Sixth Form College and Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors join forced to help other students find their voice

A group of students from Shrewsbury Sixth Form College have teamed up with Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors to help other students learn valuable debating skills as part of a volunteering project called Debate.Ed.

The eight college students got involved in the project organised in Shropshire by Holly Edwards, a solicitor from Lanyon Bowdler.

The students took the project into a range of local secondary schools and their volunteering efforts were recently recognised at the College’s Group V.Inspired Awards held at Origins Restaurant at Shrewsbury College – a national initiative which recognises the efforts of young people who volunteer their time on a number of community projects. The students, each had to undertake between 10 and 100 hours to gain an award.

Holly Edwards, a Solicitor from Lanyon Bowdler, said: “The project was set up to give students the opportunity to learn more about debating and to give them the chance to hold workshops about debating. No matter what job you do you have to talk and it’s very good if you can present yourself well and if someone says something to you can understand what they have said and whether you agree or not.”

Ella Holmes, 17, from Shrewsbury, who studies English Literature, History and Politics at A Level, said: “I very much enjoyed it. It’s really encouraging to see young people engaging in local issues and current issues. We did a Trump debate at one of the local schools.  I think the opportunities at College have really helped me, I ran the debating society at College.”

Joshua  Prior, 18, from near Oswestry, who studies the same A Levels, said: “I really enjoyed Debate.Ed.  It meant I could share my passion with other students and make sure they take it up in the future. I was a Young Farmers National Finalist in public speaking. I want to study law and politics at Cardiff. I’m really keen for everyone young student to get involved in politics and exercise their democratic choice to vote.”

V.Inspired is a nationally recognised organisation which celebrates student contribution and achievement in volunteering. Students from Health & Social Care, IT, Public Uniformed Services, Music Technology, Performing Arts, Hairdressing and the Sixth Form all took part in the various projects. Along with Joshua and Ella, Tayler Jones, Phoebe Blythin, Emily Mouland, Tabitha Purslow, Charlotte Barbour and Maddy Page also took part in the Debtate.Ed project.

Speaking at the event, Lorraine Burrage, Agency Project Co-ordinator based at London Road campus, said: “I just want to say thank you, not only to all of the students who have given their time to volunteer this year, but also the staff who have supported them and myself in helping the volunteering programme here at College grow and become as successful as it has.”