American students at the Florida shooting school are invited to Ely by young people who are fund raising to fund their travel

Sgt Phil Priestley, Emily Taylor, Rory Dingley, Det Ch Insp Driver, Daniel Davy, Molly Curtis, Ed Ou

Sgt Phil Priestley, Emily Taylor, Rory Dingley, Det Ch Insp Driver, Daniel Davy, Molly Curtis, Ed Ouzman, Owen Appleby, Saffron Chambers and Lynsey Brown at Ely Police’s commendation ceremony for its Youth Consultation Panel. PHOTO: Mike Rouse - Credit: Archant

Young people in the Ely area have unveiled an ambitious plan to bring students from the Florida shooting school to visit the region.

The East Cambs youth consultation panel are fund raising to pay for eight young people from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland to travel.

The Parkland High School was the scene of a tragic school shooting on Valentine’s Day which took the lives of fifteen students and two staff members.

The incident lasted six minutes leaving a community of families reeling and shocked people across the world.

Ed Ouzman, of Witchford Village College is preparing for his GCSEs in June. He said: “The response of that community has been incredible. Such dignity, the young people there are amazing.

“We really want to do something special for that school, something over and above offering our thoughts or prayers.”

The group intends to fund the airfares of eight students and two chaperones to visit the UK for a two week stay. It is hoped that the students will stay with members of the youth panel as guests.

Most Read

In addition to raising the funds to afford this, the youth panel want to go further.

Francesca Gallelli,of Soham Village College, said: “We want to raise a separate fund to donate to the school to support PTSD and bereavement counselling for any young people or their families.”

The youth panel are hoping to establish a lasting friendship with the school that will help them to learn from the experiences that the Parkland students have been through.

Molly Curtis, of Soham Village College, said: “We believe there is a lot we can learn by how these incredible young people have responded. There are issues with rising levels of violence and knife crime in young communities in the UK. We can’t ignore that.”

• Whether you are an individual or operate a business in the East Cambs region, if you would like to support the youth consultation panel in this project, please send a message to @CambsYouthPanel.