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Smile and the Clarence will smile with you

Carol Ordish and Maggie Cooper, 10, are keen to get the Clarence Valley smiling. Image: Contributed

Have you heard the one about the primary school girl and her ‘slightly’ older female colleague who have hatched a plan to make life better for Clarence Valley residents?
No! Well, Maggie Cooper (aged 10), and Carol Ordish are working on a plan that will cost nothing, can involve everyone and help the Clarence Valley become a healthier, happier place.
Their plan is simple: to get people to smile more.
Maggie and Carol were participants in the Clarence Valley Council’s action planning workshops that kicked off last month and were on a table that was looking at ‘easy wins’. They decided they’d like to make the Clarence Valley happier by encouraging people to smile.
They are now working together on a plan to make it happen.
In Maclean there was a suggestion that the community organise a regular street pizza night to bring people together.
Council’s community services coordinator, Dan Griffin, said the ideas were two of many suggestions for the future of the Clarence discussed at the action planning workshops.
“These two fell under the suggestions for ‘instant wins’,” he said.
“But we had other suggestions that fell under the headings of ‘great ideas – with barriers’ and ‘someday maybe’. They certainly gave us plenty to consider.
“Some, like these, were light, but others were serious and will take some time planning.”
Mr Griffin said 87 people attended workshops in Grafton, Maclean and Yamba with another 20 being involved in a similar program for youth.
“People were really enthusiastic,” he said.
“The really pleasing thing was that people were putting their hands up to lead projects. They weren’t just there to come up with suggestions and expect others to implement them. They were prepared to do the work.”
“This is an ongoing process,” Mr Griffin said.
“We’ve got the ball rolling but we need to keep the momentum going through community involvement.”
In the meantime, if anyone sees Maggie or Carol at school, in the street or just out and about, make sure you give them your best smile.