Mayor of Futaba-machi, Mr Shiro Izawa, Hull's Young Mayor, Amaya Newman & Lord Mayor of Hull, Cllr Christine Randall

Mayor of Futaba-machi visits Hull

The Mayor of Futaba-machi in Japan, Mr Shiro Izawa, along with former Hull English teacher, Anthony Ballard, have visited Hull to talk about how a natural disaster in their country gave rise to a unique relationship between our areas.

Anthony, who previously taught English in Hull, and former East Riding English teacher, Philip Jellyman, moved to Futaba-machi to teach children English.

In 2011, the town was severely hit by The Great East Japan earthquake, followed by the tsunami and a nuclear disaster.

The council office had been operating from a nearby city and helping town people to restore their everyday lives, including running primary and secondary schools. Andrew and Philip stayed with the town government when the earthquake happened, and continue to give hope to the local children by teaching English under the difficult circumstances they have all been going through.

Representatives from Futaba-machi, including the Mayor and Superintendent of Education, met with the Lord Mayor of Hull, Hull’s Young Mayor and educational representatives to express their gratitude, to look at teaching methods here and to strengthen the connection between Hull and Futaba.

Councillor Linda Tock, Portfolio Holder for children’s services said: “This was a great opportunity to continue and strengthen our links with our colleagues from Futaba and to be able to learn from each other.”

The delegation was greeted by HEY! Volunteers, before being taken to the Guildhall where they met with the Lord Mayor, Councillor Christine Randall and Hull’s Young Mayor, Amaya Newman. They went on to visit The Boulevard Academy to look at teaching methods and use of ICT, before their onward journey to the East Riding.

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