Overhauling Torbay’s Economy
What better can EF Torbay students do other than to develop an economic regeneration plan for the local county during the Business and Humanities Enrichment Day. As we were given the chance to gain an insight towards the local community, we understood that we had to take action.
As the day started, students were divided into several groups. My group had an intriguing and inspiring start as we were greeted by a short clip about Blackpool, a seaside town near the city of Manchester and Liverpool. This town is being seriously haunted by the number of alcoholics and children lacking proper childcare. The super professional word for this is “social deprivation.”
As we reflect upon ourselves towards our local community, Torbay, we asked how did we do? So we were given the opportunity to roam around Union Street to observe and look for evidence of social deprivation. Factors we were looking for were graffitis, damaged buildings, closed shops and people who behave as they took drugs.
As our group were separated into smaller groups of three, I went with several other students from IGCSE and went down to Union Street. Luckily enough, Torquay is a safe place to stay and it was very difficult to find evidence of social deprivation. However, not surprisingly, we still discover things such as broken windows, closed shops and graffitis. But seldom do we see these around Torquay.
Later then, we went back to the campus to gain more inspiration from Nigel Williams, the founder of Anode, a charity organization famous for transforming something negative into positive. In the case of poverty, Anode gave people a second chance, in fact a new life.
Nigel shared an experience where he helped a husband and wife. The wife had Alzheimer’s while the husband could not afford to fix his home. Nigel helped them and he renovated the living room that was unused for more than a decade. As they finished renovating it, the couple came inside the living room surprised. Suddenly, out of the blue, the wife started to remember memories that they share about the room and she asked her husband to dance with her. Without any music, they danced. The students were touched by Nigel’s story, but we had to take action. Later, we went with our groups to prepare for a plan to economically regenerate Torbay. Our purpose: To reduce social deprivation.
My group developed a plan to solve social deprivation through community service. The idea is to give unemployed workers a chance to build buildings and renovate houses so that more tourists would come to Torquay. Then, we presented our ideas with the other groups who developed their brilliant ideas as well. But the idea that was most appealing to the audience was the proposal to build the University of Torquay. This idea is not only innovative, it also provided a long term solution to the town’s social deprivation.
But at the end of the day, the students learned a lot about a new perspective. A point of view that will teach them how to appreciate what they have and most importantly, teaching them to play an important role in helping society. I see the business and the humanities enrichment day as a significant opportunity to learn for future leaders and I am looking forward to more of these.