Shropshire Star

Students’ artwork celebrates royal visit

The striking display outside Lakelands Academy featuring the figure of Ellesmere-born Eglantyne Jebb, created by academy students

Students at Ellesmere’s Lakelands Academy have been attracting attention with an eye-catching artwork that celebrates the centenary of the first international agreement to safeguard children’s rights.

Motorists passing the school have been slowing down to look at the display, which highlights the 1924 Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child, drawn up by Eglantyne Jebb, the Ellesmere-born social reformer who co-founded the Save the Children charity with her sister, Dorothy.

The students mounted the striking display at the school entrance to coincide with Princess Anne’s recent visit to the town as Patron of Save the Children. The royal guest took a walk around the Jebb Memorial Garden alongside the Mere and also visited the sisters’ birthplace, The Lyth, on the outskirts of Ellesmere to meet members of the Jebb family and the local Save the Children fund-raising branch

Although Her Royal Highness’ route didn’t take her past the Academy, KS3 students in English and art lessons joined with the school’s crochet club to produce an outstanding figure of Eglantyne Jebb, with parts of her skirt made up of their written ‘thoughts on children’s rights.’ They added a string of bunting featuring 100 child figures to represent the centenary of the historic accord, which laid down a set of principles aimed at protecting children from hunger, violence, abuse and exploitation, while giving them the right to be properly looked after and educated.

Helen Waugh, who co-ordinated the project with crochet club leader Angela Jones and other staff said: "All the students involved have been learning about Eglantyne Jebb, the Rights of the Child and the history of how Save the Children began at the end of the 1st World War.

"When we discovered that Princess Anne was coming to Ellesmere, we felt we should join in the celebrations to mark her visit and show our pride in the Jebb sisters’ pioneering, and visionary achievements which have helped to improve the lives of millions of children around the world over more than a century.

"The Rights of the Child are now part of a United Nations charter on children’s rights and it’s amazing to think that its all thanks to a woman who was born only two miles from our school."

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