Hopes for a good response in Draycott to Red Hand Day were more than satisfactorily fulfilled.
Almost two hundred people, including many children, contributed their ‘red hands’ to the display mounted on the railings outside Draycott Moor College.
International Red Hand Day on February 12 is the day on which the world remembers the tragedy of some 300,000 children – some as young as eight – who have been seized and forced to become soldiers in guerrilla wars.
People across the world make a red imprint on a piece of paper as a sign of their opposition to the tactic and use of child soldiers.
By the day itself, a number of groups had responded to the call for red-hand prints and had delivered them to the college in Draycott Old Road for mounting. The students and staff at the college had already kick-started the project by putting up their own prints on the fencing.
Among the supporters who sent their prints along were members of Draycott Youth Club and Draycott Women’s Institute as well as members of our local policing team. A young lady signing herself as Lucy even wrote a prayer on her print: “Dear Lord, please protect the children who have been taken from their families. Amen”
Other youth groups responding were youngsters from the Queensberry Youth Centre and Kickz (the Stoke City FC youth scheme).
Cheadle Town councillors were involved too. Following a presentation about the plight of child soldiers, Ian Plant, representing the indisposed Lady Mayoress of Cheadle, gave a small address to some of the students at the school, saying how willing the council had been to support their efforts for the day.
Pictured in the formal photo are: Councillor Ron Locker – Cheadle Town Council & Acting Cheadle Mayoress Consort; Ian Plant – deputy to Cheadle’s Lady Mayoress; Julie Mullard (Operations Manager Educare Adolescent Services); Amanda Knowles (Director of Care and Education – Horizoncare and Education); PC Kash Ullah – local Police Community Support Officer; Paul Ruby-Wilson – Draycott College Pastoral Manager; Roger Flint – Draycott College Head Teacher; Karen Morley from Draycott WI.
Thelma Turner (CEO Horizoncare & Education) also attended.