Bridport-Japan exchange set for expansion with new adult programme (From Bridport and Lyme Regis News)
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Bridport-Japan exchange set for expansion with new adult programme
THE Bridport-Japan exchange is being expanded with the launch of a programme for adults.
Youths from Bridport have been heading off to the Far East for the past 16 years in the Young People’s Exchange Programme link with Tokyo’s Koyamadai Educational Institute.
A party from Tokyo spent an action packed three-week stay in the town earlier in the summer.
Founders Arthur Woodgate and lawyer Hiroki Suzuki have now launched an adult version.
Mr Woodgate, organiser and former Bridport youth worker, said: “There have been many requests over the 16 years that the exchange has been in existence.
“They have usually been from parents and relatives of the young people involved.”
The adult exchange differs from the young people’s in that it is between individuals, rather than groups.
He added: “When we announced our plans to create an adult exchange, we were also contacted by a number who had in fact been on the exchange programme years earlier, and who couldn’t wait to go back again.”
The first person to take part in the new venture will be resident Leslie Archibald, who found out about the programme in the Bridport News.
She is set to take part in spring next year.
The exchange programme is organised through the Bridport Young Persons’ Action Trust (BYPAT) charity, and is a voluntary non profit-making initiative.
Mr Woodgate added: “We act as an introductory agency, and are happy to do this free of charge.
“We have had such wonderful experiences and made such good friends – we’d like to share this opportunity with anyone who is interested. We liaise with our partners in Japan to identify likely partnerships, the first of which will be between Lesley Archibald and Sumiya-san and his wife.
“Having put them into contact with each other, we then leave it to them to agree details.”
For details about the adult, and the young people’s exchange contact Arthur on a.c.woodgate@btinternet. com.