My name is Callum, I am 14 years old.
I'm into skateboarding and action movies. I spend a lot of time out with my friends or just hanging around on my own.
I’m always getting angry and sometimes people are scared of me.
My Dad usually takes care of me, he’s at home a lot because he’s quite often unemployed.
Waiting for the Council's Decision
I am sitting in the hall, next to the letter box, writing this on the back of a bright yellow junk mail envelope. Waiting, waiting, waiting for the post man, to hobble up the path, reach his fingers through the cold, silver letter box and for my letter to arrive on the mat - my letter from the council. ‘Dear Callum Fox, We are writing to inform you……’
Maybe the letter will be in a small, brown envelope. The decision about whether our skate park will be kept open all rides on it. We’ve been running this campaign for 5 months now. We’ve talked to every one, organised a gig, got 1283 signatures on our petition. I have even been to two seriously scary meetings at my local council. If anything will make the council change their minds about closing the skate park it will be those meetings. Trust me, it was the most important thing we did.
So how did I end up at the council you might ask? How did I get persuaded to stand up in a SUIT AND TIE in front a group of grey haired men and women and tell them how they had to keep the park open? Well, it was all quite simple really and all thanks to one very cool guy - Dan.
Dan is an old friend of my Aunty Sally’s. He came along to the gig and we started talking. I found out that he works for the council! He invited me to his office one afternoon after school. We sat down and he told me all about something called the Petition Procedure, and all the different steps you need to take to make sure that the councillors read your petition and change their minds! Dan explained that I needed to write to the council to ask them to let me present my petition in the first 15 minutes of their weekly meeting (the time they save especially for petitions) .
Because I HATE writing and I am dyslexic, Dan helped me write the letter, putting in all these really serious sentences like: ‘It would be deeply regrettable and extremely detrimental to the young people and members of the community should the skate park indeed be closed.’ Although it took twice the time for Dan to explain these sentences, they sounded really good to me, and I think it made the council take me seriously.
When the day came to present my petition I was very nervous. I felt a bit shaky, but the minute I got to the council, there was Dan with a massive grin on his face: “Go in there and fight for your skate park!” he said. “They were really impressed with your letter. They’re looking forward to meeting you.”
The white door opened, I walked in and immediately mouths dropped open….
“But you are so young” a tight-lipped lady said.
“Young but prepared to tell you all about our great skate park and why we would like you to seriously consider keeping it open.” I said.
I couldn’t believe my own voice, I sounded like a lawyer in a film. I swallowed hard and kept going. We talked about the park for what felt like ages. They said that they would act according to procedures, and the decision would be made later. They promised to write to me in ten days.
So here I am, waiting. Sw-ish - the silver letter box has just opened, and a white letter is floating in slow motion to the floor like a feather. ‘Dear Mr Callum Fox, We are writing to inform you …..’