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A Chain for Youth

By Ted Trowsdale - Posted on 11 August 2011

The Junior Chain is presented in Solihull

 As the outgoing Mayor and Mayoress of Solihull (Rotarians Ian & Sheila Courts, of the Meriden Club) prepared to hand back their chains of office, they decided to leave the borough a brand new piece of jewellery – a “Junior Mayoral Chain”.

The junior chain will be available for borough schools to use during their youth council meetings – it will be worn by the chair of the meeting – to help them learn about local democracy.

Youth Councils are a common feature of most schools now and the Mayor and Mayoress have even taken part in one school council meeting during their year in office. They have also been fascinated, and very impressed, by their many meetings with children and young people and the quality of debates that they have hosted in the Council Chamber, involving not just schools, but also scout groups and others.

As it is customary for an outgoing Mayor to make a gift to the Borough, Councillor Courts and his wife Sheila decided they would donate a replica of the Mayor's chain, together with gavel and block, neatly held in a leather case.

The youth chain is a shiny replica of the original, crafted by Jason Clarke of Evolution Jewellery, and the gavel and block was made as a gift by Rotarian Ted Trowsdale of the Solihull Rotary Club.

Rotarian Ian explained: "During our term of office, we have noticed how much children and young people enjoy and benefit from visits and contact with civic life”. “They do of course learn about government and democracy, but they can also gain a great deal in confidence and gain powers of expression and questioning”.

“The Mayor's chain has always been a subject of fascination for them and we intend that the "Youth Chain", which will be available for schools and youth groups to borrow for special occasions, will foster their interest even more”. “I am very grateful to Jason and Ted for their help in this project”. “It shows that craftsmanship and skill is certainly alive in Solihull and the Midlands."

For information about the chain, contact the Mayor's Office on or 0121 704 6023.

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