The Mayor of Croydon, Councillor Wayne Trakas- Lawlor kindly gave up his time on 19th October to share experiences with our students on their recent participation in Arnhem.
Five students and two members of staff spent five days in Arnhem, (14th-18th September), representing Croydon at the annual ‘Youcee’ International Youth conference, in commemoration of the second world war, in particular the battle of Arnhem in 1944. The link between Croydon and Arnhem has existed since 1946 after both towns suffered extensive war damage in WW2.
The trip included, taking part in a Model United Nations debate, witnessing a parachute drop at Ginkel Heath and attending commemoration services for the fallen soldiers, where students were chosen to lay wreaths. The opportunity to develop team building skills and presentation skills was also a key part of their experience as well as forming friendships with people from all around the world.
The Mayor commented, “This was a wonderful life experience for the students seeing the parachute drop into the same fields as a drop zone in 1944. Amongst those who lost their lives in 1944 were many of Croydon’s sons. It was right that our young people today value the heroic action taken by those not much older than themselves.”
The students described the trip as “heartwarming and emotional” and commented that it was an experience they would never forget.
Mohammed Ramzan, Principal of John Ruskin College says, “The College feels very privileged to be part of such a prestigious International event each year. It provides an amazing experience for our students.”