Maindee pupils share their hopes and fears
Roma pupils from Maindee Primary school, Newport met with Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Eleri Thomas and the Children’s Commissioner for Wales Sally Holland to talk about their hopes and fears.
The session, led by the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, an ambassador for Children’s Rights uncovered how safe Roma pupils feel in their community.
All children and young people have a right to have their voices heard and to feel safe as stated in the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child.
Pupils expressed their love for the school and their regular visits to Community House.
Through honest and open conversations, many of the children expressed that they are fearful of issues such as drug use and dealing taking place in the community.
The children talked about experiencing discrimination and racial abuse. Many pupils spoke of encountering hate language in parks and play areas, places where they should feel safe.
The group all agreed that one of their hopes for the future is that everyone should be treated equally and with respect.
Maindee Primary School has a robust support network of staff who are working closely with local and national organisations including Positive Futures, Youth Justice Service, Levelling the Playing Field and Community House to tackle the issues raised.
The school, pupils, and families meet regularly with Gwent Police’s local neighbourhood team and have developed a Safe Faces scheme. Safe Faces helps pupils and their families to get to know local officers to build confidence and trust amongst communities and encourage the reporting of issues such as hate crime.
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Eleri Thomas said: “I would like to thank all of the children for their bravery and honesty.
“Opening up about their thoughts and fears was extremely thought provoking. It is clear action is needed to help them feel safe and protected.
“This can only be achieved by working in partnership with projects funded by The Police and Crime Commissioner, local authorities, Gwent Police and the Children’s Commissioner for Wales to fulfil every child’s right to feel safe.
“I would like to thank Gwent Police neighbourhood and NXT Gen teams for their ongoing support in helping to break down barriers within the community.”
The Children’s Commissioner Sally Holland said: ‘The children spoke clearly and movingly about the everyday barriers that they and their families face in the community, and the support they receive from the school every day to combat these barriers.
"I’ll be following up on the issues they raised and will keep in touch with the children about this.’