Write a letter which you hope to be published in your local newspaper. Inform readers what leisure facilities are available for young people and families in your area and explain how you think they can be improved. (16 marks)
You will be aware what an awful, boring place Halstead is. After all, one does not run the paper for twenty-five years without acquainting oneself with the area somewhat. I would firstly like to offer congratulations on the twenty-five years the Halstead Gazette has been in print, and also turn Your – and others’ – attention to a most pressing subject.
Certainly, one will agree that there are satisfactory facilities in Halstead, but most are either accommodating the younger age group or the elderly. Yes we also have access to the bingo every Wednesday night and in the summer we are able to join in with their game of croquet but what’s here for us? For the teenagers that are not allowed to wander the streets past 10pm as so many people are afraid that gang violence may take place; on a Saturday night when no one wants to be stuck home with their parents, it’s the weekend, time to relax or do something remotely interesting, but after living here for 5 years I can safely give you a grand tour of the facilities you have to offer for the ‘rowdy’ teenagers:
Firstly, the morning constitutional; who doesn’t love taking a walk in the pleasant fields and featureless landscapes? this one costs absolutely nothing and it is not hard to find a path that leads through the grim, dark woods with pigeons in the trees and rubbish at the sides of a path that is dark and pot-holed with puddles of a dangerous depth. And if young people don’t like the woods – how about a field, where, if you are caught, a farmer will hunt you down with a combine harvester.
Oh yes, we do have a pub but once teens are seen hanging around a stereotype is immediately pined to us but that is really the only thing Halstead has to offer that won’t give us broken limbs or hypothermia. There is nothing – NOTHING – to do in Halstead.
That’s why I propose you reconsider your options of how to improve the town; we don’t need another soft play area built for the toddlers but instead, how about giving us youngsters another thought? There are so many options, a football pitch or a tennis court; expeditions to be held for any age group, teaching us how to focus our energies on something positive? Even holding zumba classes and an introductory lesson in fencing? Something exciting, something unusual, something worthwhile.
‘Life is too easy for young people today. They lack challenges and don’t have to fight for anything’
Write an article for a magazine of your choice which persuades your readers that this statement is either right or wrong.(24 marks)
The statement: ‘Life is too easy for young people today. They lack challenges and don’t have to fight for anything’ has probably be made by every older generation (and particularly parents) since the beginning of mankind. It is a celebration of history for the ‘older generation’ and a reinforcement of the notion that it was always harder’, ‘more difficult’, ‘more challenging’, or ‘more demanding’ – ‘when I was a child’! Sadly, this is far from a reality, it is almost impossible to compare the current time with almost any other previous decade.
Young people of today may not face the same challenges as their parents or grandparents, but there are still plenty of trials and tribulations to occupy their minds. It is worth making some political and social comparisons with the 21st century and the 1950s and 1960s. The social profile of this country was enormously different – the concept of a ‘cosmopolitan community’ was unheard of and may of the ‘traditional morality, rules and standards’ were strictly maintained through schools, media and parental control.
The concept of ‘human rights’ was not a strong influence on legislation, social activity, employment or education. In many respects there was far less ‘regulation’ – although significantly more rules and norms – many of which were successfully challenged (and defeated) in the 1960s. Young people have gained a voice, and for many an acknowledgement of responsibility; today’s child is tomorrow’s adult and parent. We should agree that things are significantly different – not necessarily ‘easier’ or ‘harder’. Whenever an older person tells me about ‘how much easier things are today’ – I always feel like passing them my mobile phone and asking them to access ‘set-up’ and change the ring tone! Perhaps a little unkindly, this at the very least, demonstrates the chasm between the technology of yesteryear and now.
Things are different; some better and some worse – but not easier – the country offers less employment opportunity, taxation (both direct and indirect) is higher; all the costs grow incrementally year-on-year (without necessarily reflecting wages and income); and our politicians continue to spend what they do not have. The concept of ‘Rule Britannia’ is now hollow and national pride and heritage appears to be slipping away from the halcyon days of the 20th century. Life is not easy; there are plenty of challenges and young people will have to confront and overcome those – as every generation has in the past.