Wonderwall for youngsters

THE writing is on the wall for one group of Ipswich youths… and they could not be happier.At the Landseer Play Centre a new project is under way to spark the imagination of the children who use the centre and to get the message across about substance misuse.

THE writing is on the wall for one group of Ipswich youths… and they could not be happier.

At the Landseer Play Centre a new project is under way to spark the imagination of the children who use the centre and to get the message across about substance misuse.

It involves a huge white wall and the skills of Evening Star cartoonist, Jock Davies, who is drawing cartoons of the children involved… complete with submarines, speeding cars and bungy jumps.

Andy Fell, play officer at the centre, said: "This project has been going since the February half term with money from the community safety unit. Comics and magazines are something the kids are really into and so is a great basis to get them thinking about other issues. We are using the idea of drawing cartoons as a way into different subjects. It is about information awareness.


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"Currently the children are having cartoons of themselves drawn on to the wall and they are colouring them in. From this we are hoping to get a magazine printed which will deal with the issue of substance abuse. But it will be subtle. For example we will be looking at a day in the life of Landseer Park which inadvertently will deal with drug and other substance misuse."

The children at the centre seemed to share Andy's enthusiasm.

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Charmaine Clipstone, 11, said: "It makes me want to get involved and do stuff."

Charmaine has her drawing on the wall already. As does Ryan Pavey, ten, who said he had really enjoyed helping to colour in the cartoons.

It was clear when Jock entered that the project was becoming successful. The children followed him around and ask enthusiastically whether they would be in the pictures he was drawing.

Jock said: "It is a vehicle to get the conversation going and lots of the kids, both older and younger, have been getting involved. It inspires their imagination and they have come up with great ideas.

"Some asked me to draw them with a bottle of beer in their hands at first but I persuaded them to think of something more imaginative and they certainly did.

"I am also going to be involved with the magazine and eventually I would really like to see these ideas go to other centres so they to can be inspired," he added.

Hopefully the magazine will be printed around Easter and distributed to children all over the area.s

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