The Cones continue on their exciting and educational adventures
The highly successful series of children’s books, written by author Chris Madeley, is going from strength to strength with increased support from Corporate Britain.
Chris engages with a great diversity of companies to help children to learn about the world around them dealing with ecological issues, infrastructure, conservation etc. At the same time, she is maintaining her ethos of helping children to learn to live and play within parameters based on moral and ethical values and learning to live with each other in the best ways possible with these values, diversity and inclusivity at the top of the agenda.
The Cones are now embracing several new aspects into their adventures. Chris is very conscious that, to be truly inclusive, children need to be given more information from an early stage of what is out there in the big wide world waiting for them to both enjoy and work in. The educational establishment has thrown up a few very interesting points for consideration, particularly about the ambitions of parents who ‘guide’ their offspring into jobs they consider to be ‘worthy,’ most of which don’t include the construction industry.
Talking to industry workers has given her great food for thought and inspiration. To boys, she has found that it is frequently said by parents: “if you don’t work hard at school, you’ll end up on a building site.” When a daughter said: “When I grow up, I want to be an Engineer like you, Dad. The reply was: “Over my dead body!” and the daughter was sent to become a teacher, which lasted two years before getting herself into a most successful and happy career in the construction industry!
Chris is enthralled by the immense variety of occupations and qualifications available to provide a most satisfying, rewarding and enjoyable work experience. She is also very disappointed to learn that several areas in the sector are desperate for graduates and apprentices to join them and is working hard with several major construction companies to demonstrate that there are fascinating and fulfilling jobs in this sector for everyone, whatever their background, education or ability, and is very keen to help both the industry and children to redress this balance.
Chris currently has books dealing with the issue of air pollution and the detrimental effect it has on the nation’s health, the infrastructure being built to encourage cars out of our city and town centres, the value of cycling to work, park and ride facilities and the production of electricity for cleaner buses by utilising solar panels as a covering in car parks, this book being written in collaboration with Bam Nuttall and Leeds City Council.
She has also started on a programme of including the regeneration of older and preserved buildings whenever relevant and has just written a story with Balfour Beatty to demonstrate how a worn-out main arterial road into a major city has the flyover replaced and at the same time, by very clever logistics, is kept open to ensure there is no disruption to the passage of essential traffic into the city. The second part of this story deals with a 17.5 km new road to alleviate the problems of ‘rat runs’ through country villages, the ecology included in this custom-built modern civil engineering project and the benefits to local communities and travellers by utilising green spaces, walkways and cycle tracks along the route, picnic areas and wooded areas for recreation.
One book currently in production covers explaining to children how a house is built from the ground upwards with all the essential jobs available and how the roads, the very essential life blood of a building site, are the first to appear and, probably the most important message: do not play on a building site! Another one is about the upgrading of a long section of railway, the stations on route which are to be regenerated, including preserving a very special listed building, and another the building of a new town and how, by careful planning, it is possible to build a whole community covering all needs including employment on one site and linking it to the motorway and rail systems.
Chris is always looking for companies to work with in all different types of industry. Children benefit by learning to interact with companies by finding out what they are doing in their area, and it is so satisfying to see the faces of the children who receive the books and the excited comments – who would have thought that the receiving of books would become a treat when in previous generations they were the backstop of gifts! The age of reading is still very much alive!
The company concerned benefits from the collaboration by receiving acknowledgement from CSR Accreditation for their Social Vale/CSR programme which is useful when tendering for new business.
Contact Chris at The Cones Books website to find out how you can sponsor a brand new Cones Book.