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A LETTER-WRITING lesson at a Newcastle girls' school has led to a face-to-face meeting with foreign secretary and local MP David Miliband.

Thirteen-year-old Esther Dixon, a pupil at Church High School in Jesmond, took part in a formal letter-writing class. The class drafted a number of letters to people on subjects they felt passionate about.

Esther sent her letter to the South Shields MP, expressing her concerns about the litter and rubbish along the North East coastline.

Esther, from South Shields, said: "When the response came through requesting a meeting to discuss my letter I couldn't believe it.

"I felt quite nervous to meet Mr Miliband, but he was really nice and together we constructed another letter for the National Trust expressing our concerns for the environment and the wildlife. I really feel like it's made a difference."

Classmate Rebecca Charlton was also surprised by an unexpected visit from a Northumbria Police officer, following her letter to the Chief Constable, expressing concerns about the increase in crime in the area.

Rebecca, 12, from Seaton Burn, North Tyneside, said: "A couple of my family members had been affected by crime and I felt writing a letter was a way in which I could do something about it. I was totally taken aback when I got a personal visit from a policeman to my home."

Church High English teacher Kay Thew said: "A number of girls received fantastic responses to their letters, from all sorts of people and organisations around the world, even as far a field as the Steve Irwin Memorial Club in Australia. Other notable responses came from authors Michael Morpurgo and Lauren St John."


MEETING: Letter recipient David Miliband: MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Esther Dixon, left and Rebecca Charlton, who attend Church High School
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 28, 2008
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