Louis de Chazal from Great Shefford: West Berkshire’s Junior Citizen of the Year 2020

Louis de Chazal

Congratulations to 10 year old Louis de Chazal from Great Shefford for being awarded West Berkshire’s Junior Citizen of the Year 2020.

Louis was nominated for The Pat Eastop MBE Junior Citizen of the Year award by Adrian Fletcher-Foster from Newbury Friends of the Earth for his environmental activities and Denise Herrington of Great Shefford Preschool for the support he gave the younger children during lockdown.

Louis’ Environmental Activities

Louis was a passionate speaker (aged just 9 then) at the Student Climate strikes in Newbury in 2019.

He is on the Eco Committee at Brightwalton School and has been a driving force for various things like putting up posters to encourage parents to turn off their engines, collecting compost and saving energy around the school.  He spoke to staff about getting electricity from renewable sources. This, unfortunately, has not been possible yet as it must be done through the council but he is hoping to contact them about it in due course.

At the same time he wrote to four big renewable energy companies to ask them for a discount for schools. He received a most encouraging response from Octopus Energy (and a giant, cuddly octopus which he and his sister love!) so he is hoping that something will actually come of that letter!

During the first lockdown, Louis wrote two stories which featured Climate Crisis issues and were basically a message to everyone to help save the planet.  Both were for writing competitions – he won one and was a runner up in the other.  As part of a homework he made a video to show his peers how and why to build a bug hotel.

Louis also badgered the Head until she agreed to two trees being planted in the school grounds in Nov 2019 as part of national tree week.

He has also written to the school cook and school meal provider to ask them to remove beef from the menu.  He has also put up a poster to encourage his friends not to eat beef. He has written to Lidl questioning why they were advertising their beef products so much at the same time as claiming to be ‘green’.

Louis’ Community Contributions during Lockdown

Louis was very busy in lockdown on the community front. He read several stories for the preschool on video for their Facebook page which the young children really enjoyed.

He came up with the idea of hiding a toy dinosaur in a tree for them to go and find. He also played a selection of nursery rhymes on his bassoon a few times for them to sing along to.  He took requests and one family asked for Teddy Bear’s Picnic so he and his sister set up a picnic in the sitting room.

Together with his sisters, Amélie and Elise, and mother Nadine, they provided music every week for Zoom Church which actually was a huge time commitment and they all did very well in terms of patience and practising. Louis also wrote and read prayers (often about the environment, naturally!).

At Christmas the de Chazals set up a ‘request a carol’ through the Church and raised just over £200 for Daisy’s Dream.  People asked for a carol and we played them on violin, viola and bassoon and also sang along and edited it all together on Garage Band.

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Covering: Hungerford, Marlborough, Wantage,   Lambourn, Newbury, Thatcham & Theale