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Farnham Primary School: Litter Warriors' village clean-up shows you're never too small to make a difference

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Pupils at Farnham Church of England Primary School are determined to make a difference in their community.

The children have been cleaning up the village as part of a wider project designed to promote mental wellbeing.

The 'Make a Difference in a Day' scheme helps reduce anxiety as children look beyond themselves and their immediate needs and encourages them to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative and understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of their neighbours.

During lockdown, pupils in Farnham's Horse Chestnut class (Year 5 and 6) noticed an increase in litter around the village and surrounding roads as well as a rise in fly-tipping.

Then, during PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education) and English lessons, they watched videos of inspirational people and learned how to "make a difference". The next step was to draw a 'tree of change' to put their Litter Warriors plan into action.

They sourced donated litter-pickers and gloves, created posters and leaflets and invited elderly residents to come to the window so the children could give them a wave as they walked the village with their teachers, Sara Haughey and Greta Stovold.

Hannah Wheatcroft, Farnham head, said: "The children were incredible in coming up with such important issues within our community and they know it's not a one-off. They're keen to continue tidying up their community."

Mrs Haughey, who has completed a course on social action in community spaces, said: "Everyone gains from these projects: the community – because of the support they receive and seeing young people who care about the world they live in; the school – as children gain pride and take on more responsibility for their surroundings; and the children themselves – whose confidence and self-esteem has hugely improved.

"As Greta Thunberg said, 'You are never too small to make a difference'."

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