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Youngsters enjoy Chartists workshops

A graphic novel entitled Newport Rising: Chartism Redrawn, has inspired a series of education workshops for schools in South Wales themed around the Chartist movement.

Worker and school children smiling with pencils in a workshopWPD apprentice Sam Cole based at Ty Coch, Cwmbran joined Year 6 pupils at one of the Chartism Redrawn workshop sessions of at High Cross Primary School recently.

The novel by Josh Cranton and Rhys DW Jones was created for the Newport Rising Festival, to celebrate and remember the Chartist uprising of 1839 – the fight for the right to vote and for the people’s voices to be heard, it became an important milestone on the road to modern democracy.

The innovative workshops we have sponsored have been touring schools in Newport, with the support of Rachel Drowley, from Newport Rising Festival and charity Our Chartist Heritage (OCH).

The Chartists story is the inspiration for the workshops in which the two artists share their trade secrets with participants and invite them to join their creative team for the day. The team’s task is to help the artists design superhero characters and a rogues’ gallery of the supervillains.

Artist Josh Cranton said: “We have been amazed by the way the young people have responded to the challenge. Not only have their ideas blown us away but they have really taken on board the modern Chartist message of working together to achieve positive change.”

WPD Corporate Communications Officer Karen Welch said: “We work closely with schools, delivering important ‘for-life’ safety messages to youngsters – aimed at keeping them safe around electricity and we enlist the help of our very own Superhero Pylonman to help.

“We believe education is vitally important to help pupils learn and grow and these workshops are a perfect way to engage and encourage them in an interesting and fun way. We hope the workshops will challenge their imaginations and create some fresh and exiting ideas.”

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