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Daniel and Dawn take youth voice to Ohio

Mansfield's Youth Mayor, Daniel Winfield and Deputy Youth Mayor Dawn Meade, are setting off on a trip of a lifetime next week to promote their youth ambassadorial roles and learn how the people of our Sister City in Mansfield, Ohio, empower young people within their community.

Daniel and Dawn will spend a week (18 June to 25 June) at Mansfield, Ohio, to learn about how our State Side counterparts empower young people, how the young community is able to influence decision making and engage in local democracy, understand the education and commercial provision available to prepare young people for work and establish how young people are coping with the global recession. They will also share how their roles as Youth Mayor and Deputy Youth Mayor have helped to strengthen the voice of young people within their home town and county.

Both will be keeping video diaries during their week to capture the lessons learnt each day.

Their trip has been arranged in partnership with the Mansfield Sister Cities Association and representatives from the Ohio group will be hosting the week's activities. They will be chaperoned by Mansfield District Council's Learning and Development Project Officer and accompanied by Brett Baker, Student Ambassador of West Nottinghamshire College - who will be looking to establish a future student exchange programme and will be visiting other colleges to compare education.

The full programme has been put together to engage with people across a variety of organisations. Taking inspiration from previous visits, which instigated Mansfield 2020 Business group, the DARE programme and Children of Courage Awards here in Mansfield District, the young delegation hope to find new ways to engage young people and bring together young people from both Mansfields.

During the week, the group will be taken on tours of Ohio State University, Mid Ohio Educational Service Centre, Kehoe Centre for Advanced Manufacturing skills, where they will meet students and tutors to learn about how they prepare students for work. They will hear about what Ohio employers, who compete in the global market, want in an applicant. They will also take part in a Chamber of Commerce discussion on the Young Leader's program. They will speak at a meeting of the Mansfield Ohio Caucus, meet Mayor Tim Theaker, see the Police and Fire departments, and hear about Mansfield Ohio's youth issues and how each are addressing common problems.

Mansfield's involvement in the Olympic Torch Relay will also be a topic of discussion during the week and the sister city will be presented with its own Inspiring Mansfield torch, which forms part of the Inspiring Mansfield events taking place in schools across the District.

When Daniel and Dawn return from their trip they will provide a report to Mansfield District Council and the Mansfield Sister Cities Association on the work and outcomes of the visit.

The cost of the trip has been funded primarily by Mansfield Sister Cities Association, Samworth Church Academy, West Nottinghamshire College and supported Mansfield District Council. Dawn also raised sponsorship funding with a sponsored silence.

Youth Mayor, Daniel Winfield said: "Our visit to Mansfield Ohio will not only provide us with an opportunity to learn new ways to make our voices heard, but it will enhance our Mansfield Sister Cities Associations and develop our friendships across the generations - something that was a manifesto ambition of mine and one that I never imagined would bring me so many miles away from home. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, which I'll use to benefit the young people of Mansfield by sharing what I have learnt and putting forward ideas for projects and developments."

A daily photo update of the trip will be posted on

Published 15 June 2012

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