COUNCILLORS have agreed to give financial backing to an international exchange scheme that will allow Flintshire students to visit Japan this summer.

It was discussed at Mold Town Council’s monthly meeting to consider backing the Flintshire Optec Youth Exchange Trust scheme for pupils to visit Japan in August.

Town clerk Sam Roberts introduced the item at the meeting and asked for members to state their thoughts on the possibility of a contribution to the schemes funding.

Councillor Chris Bithell, representing the Mold East ward, said: “I am sure that anything we can do to help and support the young people that will be going, as we typically do send at least one person from Mold and it is by all means an expensive trip to be able to fund, would be much appreciated.”

It was noted by the clerk that the same proposal was put to the council in 2018 and records that the agreed sum of £200 was given in support of the scheme – which has been running for 30 years now.

The Leader previously reported that six Flintshire pupils from Castell Alun, Mold Alun, Elfed and Hawarden High Schools travelled to Japan as exchange students in 2018 – marking the schemes 30th birthday.

Members noted that the scheme was an excellent opportunity for young people in Mold to experience a different culture and, vice versa, provide Japanese students a perspective on Welsh culture and life in the UK.

As a result, the same donation was provided to the group in order to help with funding the exchange.

Cllr Sarah Taylor said that she wholeheartedly supports the request to help fund the exchange and also suggested that, in the spirit of wanting to get younger people engaged in future council activities, that the attending students could create a short presentation that could be delivered to the council following their trip.

The exchange, coordinated by Flintshire Optec Japanese Youth Exchange Trust, is open to all students aged 16-18 in full time education at high schools and colleges in the Flintshire area.