In February this year, children at Guiseley Infant and Nursery School took part in a drawing competition sponsored by Hobbycraft, and organised by the Aireborough Neighbourhood Forum, as part of their ‘Living in Aireborough’ Neighbourhood Plan research. Research which is gathering views from the youngest to the oldest in the area – our oldest person so far being 94 years old.
The four to seven year old children had to draw something they liked and something they disliked about living in Guiseley – it could be a picture of the local parks, the shops, the traffic, the green spaces or the views: anything which they themselves noticed about their environment. Teachers at the school kindly provided the equipment and time during class – it was important to get the children’s views and not to take the task home where other family members might feel tempted to give an opinion.
Hard work shone through in the fascinating results, truly ‘out of the mouth of babes’, with some real budding artists amongst them! Overall, the results showed the children liked being active and playing with friends – top came recreation and skate parks, and football fields, closely followed by the swimming pool (on the list for regenerating); the school itself came third both for activity and play. There was also a liking for riding horses and feeding or looking at animals, Starlight Academy, and the railway station.
Overwhelmingly, the children disliked the noise and bustle of the traffic, traffic lights and crossings in Guiseley, (the same result that came from the older Youth Forum, and, in fact, most of the research done with all ages) and there was a strong showing for a dislike of shopping (although that didn’t include Hobbycraft). Many dislikes centred on the lack of upkeep and bad behaviour in the area, including, muddy paths in Esholt woods, a pair of trainers that had been thrown over a telephone wire for sometime in Oxford Road (litter was mentioned a few times), teenagers in playgounds (another point made by the Youth Forum), and someone was not too keen on their Mother’s cooking – which cause a lot of amusement when read out at assembly where the prizes were given (no names mentioned).
First prize overall went to Kamryn Rawlings, second prize to Daniel Fontana, and third prize to Poppy Smith – who all got a Hobbycraft craft pack. Runners up were Eva Gill, Jesca Allen, Eva Conybeare, Isabella Monks, Lucy Lund and Verity Gilmartin, who got some play stickers
Commended efforts came from all years, and were given a certificate – these included, Ella Broadbent, Christian Burnley, Emma Campbell, Caitlin Child, Summer-Kaysey Davey, Grayce Fielding, Imogen Gilks, Macy Greaves, Kiah and Lara Hinchliffe, Emma Hird, Julietta Hodges, Isla Hudson, Lottie Massam, Olivia Parkinson, Lilia Richmond, Jude Sharpe, Emilia Vento and Giuseppe Younger.
Alison Petty, store manager at Hobbycraft commented – “Since opening our new store in Guiseley in November 2012, we have made some strong links with the local community to promote crafting skills. We were delighted to support this project with Guiseley Infants School and the Aireborough Neighbourhood Forum and the children have produced some really interesting drawings of life in Guiseley.”
The Neighbourhood Forum would like to thank all the children for their contribution and interpretation of likes and dislikes; well done to you all. We will be looking for places to exhibit the results, but most importantly we will be using the ideas in the evolving Neighbourhood Plan – it is obvious tha natural play and activities involving interests such as animals, sports and performance should be planned for in order to help children develop their capabilities. We’d also like to give our many thanks to Guiseley Infants and Nursery School for all their hard work and encouragement on this project.