Creative Crew grab a Grand to Deliver Their ‘Grand Idea’

English Martyrs Catholic Voluntary Academy, based in Oakham, is the first winner of the Wildlife Trust’s new ‘Grand Ideas’ competition. Hosted by the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, ‘Grand Ideas’ offers £1000.00 to fund the realization of environmental projects wholly conceived by young people (10-20 years old). Four further prizes of £1000.00 are now up for grabs.
Young people are full of bright ideas; they are also often environmentally aware. In response to this, the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust partnered with the Community Foundation and #IWill Lottery funding to develop ‘Grand Ideas’ – a competition designed to give young people aged between 10 and 20 the chance to develop an idea which will improve their local environment.
The first winner of the new award has just been announced: a group of Year 6 students from English Martyrs Catholic Voluntary Academy. Their Grand Idea: ‘Nature 4 Life’.
Nature 4 Life developed initially as a Dragons’ Den-style competition based within the school. The competition saw several groups of students competing against each other to deliver pitches to teachers for improvements they wanted to see around the site. Nature 4 Life beat off some stiff competition, with the objective of raising £2,500 in total.
“When we first received a Grand Ideas entry from Nature 4 Life, the idea was so full of enthusiasm we were immediately drawn to it” said Mat Cottam, Manager of Rutland Water Nature Reserve. “I visited English Martyrs and saw the students deliver their Dragon’s Den pitch themselves. I was blown away by the professionalism of their presentation and their attention to detail.”
“The thing which impressed me most about Nature 4 Life was the team work, partnerships, and ambition of the project”, added Mat. “The group undertook to match the £1000 from Grand Ideas with £1,500 which they were raising from a variety of other events. This has included a sponsored litter-pick around Oakham, and getting corporate sponsorship to assist with designing and selling a re-usable Nature 4 Life shopping bag.”
Nature 4 Life focuses on upgrading a wildlife area in the school grounds. Each student from the group brought their own idea to the mix: one planting native trees and shrubs, while others improved access to the pond, built nest boxes for a variety of species, worked on developing interpretation on the site, and finally, construction of a gazebo area to enable natural history lessons to be taught outside, surrounded by nature. A student from the following Year has been nominated, to take over responsibility for the project in the future, ensuring the benefits of the project are long term.
“We are really excited to have been awarded £1000 towards our pond
development”, said Jeff Hodgson, English Teacher, and Key Stage 2 Lead. “It will augment our fund-raising efforts and help us to develop our pond and nature area so that our children have an outdoor classroom where they can learn about ecology, study plants and animals first hand. We would like to thank the Wildlife Trust, Community Foundation and #IWill, for their generous support and encouragement.”
Do you have a Grand Idea?
English Martyrs is a great start for the Grand Ideas competition.
The Wildlife Trust is eagerly awaiting the next round of entries. If you work in a community group or school or are aged between 10 and 20 years of age and are interested in entering, please contact Sarah Hatherill, Grand Ideas Community Engagement Officer, Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust. Email: [email protected] Tel: 07706 136 133.
Closing date for entries is Friday 29th November 2019.