Wow! It has been a really busy time at YPTE recently. First we had a huge number of projects submitted for the TOTAL Green School Awards. The work that young people are doing to learn more about our world and how they can protect it in the future is amazing. We have loved looking at all their work, but hated the really difficult process of choosing the winners from amongst so much excellence.
Still, that done, we then had to prepare for the Awards events, which happened simultaneously at London Zoo and Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh on 15 June. Over 250 children attended the events, representing the winning schools from England, Scotland and Wales. Guests at the events included Energy Minister Charles Hendry MP, who was our keynote speaker at London Zoo, as well as Shadow Environment Minister Gavin Shuker MP, Jessica Morden MP, David Amess MP, David Davies MP and Esther McVey MP.
We also had some great celebrity guests in both venues, including YPTE Presidents Dermot O’Leary and Naomi Wilkinson along with stars Zoe Wanamaker CBE and Bill Paterson in London. In Edinburgh, arctic explorer Charlie Paton was joined by actors Shirley Henderson (Moaning Myrtle in the Harry Potter movies is among her huge list of credits), Julie Wilson Nimmo (Miss Hoolie from ‘Balamory’) and James MacKenzie (‘Raven’ from CBBC).
It was amazing for the young winners to meet these famous people and to have the chance to talk to them about the work they had done to win their Awards. All the adults went away inspired by the passion and energy that the young people showed for looking after our planet and by their thirst for knowledge. The overall winners, Castle Park Primary School did some fabulous work on the habitats and species of Madagascar to become UK Champions 2011. Congratulations to all the winners and to all the schools that took part. Please enter the Awards again in 2012. We want to be blown away by your ideas and hard work yet again!
No sooner were those events finished than we were packing to head up to Bolton for the Eco Schools Show, where we met literally thousands of young people and their teachers to talk to them about our website, free school talks and of course the TOTAL Green School Awards for 2012.
Since then, we have been extremely busy with talks in schools, returning projects to TOTAL Green School Awards entrants (we always send schools their work back after judging), giving out more TOTAL Green School Awards to schools, recruiting schools in Bristol, Bath and NE Somerset for our new ‘Roots to Green Living’ project and getting the next issue of Conservation Education ready to be published online.
2011 has been our busiest year for a very long time and it’s only just over halfway through! Thank you to all of our supporters and the schools and young people who have kept us all so busy this year. Keep it up! We love being in demand!