Hanover Street School pupils scoop prestigious environmental award

The children of Hanover Street School are celebrating today (Thursday 7 June) after being named Scottish Champions of the Better Energy School Awards.

Their project ‘HSS Flying Eco Pigs Change The World!’ not only took top spot in the ‘Totally Creative’ category across Scotland, but was also declared the best project in all categories from the entire region, making it the Scottish Champion for 2018.

The Better Energy School Awards is a nationwide competition for 5 to 11 year olds, which is run by the Young People’s Trust for the Environment (YPTE) in partnership with Total. The competition, which aims to generate interest in the environment and raise awareness of the need for sustainable energy sources, has received entries from almost 275,000 children since it began in 2007.

The children of Hanover Street School, who were aged 6-11 when they did their project, learned about a wide range of environmental issues including single use plastics and the problems posed by discarded chewing gum on the streets of Aberdeen. They thought that if they could make their Eco Pigs (very cute papier mache pigs with eco messages on their wings) fly, then perhaps they could change the world.

Inspired by the environmental damage they had seen in Blue Planet 2, they approached local shopkeepers, cafe and bar owners to ask them to stop providing single use items like drinking straws made from plastic in their restaurants. They even got the school caterers to end the use of single use plastic for school lunches!

Businesses that agreed with the children’s requests to make changes received an Eco Pig to display on their premises. The Eco Pigs went far and wide, with one going to the home of Sir David Attenborough, who sent them a personal letter of thanks for the work they were doing to protect the environment for the future.

Councillor Jenny Laing, Aberdeen City Council Co Leader, said: “This is a fantastic and well deserved achievement by everyone at Hanover Street School; the Flying Eco Pigs have really caught the imagination and I know the school has been asked to create even more, so popular have they become.

"The pupils’ work Creating a better future by inspiring young people to look after our world in the community in tackling environmental issues has been inspirational.

"Everyone here at Aberdeen City Council is not only proud of Hanover Street’s fantastic Scottish Champions award but we also wish them every success in the UK awards”.

Ten children from the school will be representing Hanover Street when they join the other Regional Champions from schools in England and Wales next week at the National Awards Ceremony, held at London Zoo. All of the Regional Champions will receive a specially commissioned trophy and a cheque for £1,000 to put towards their school funds, while the UK Champions – to be chosen from the Regional Champions and announced at the awards ceremony – will receive a total of £5,000 for their school funds.

Well done and good luck to Hanover Street School!

Main photograph shows left to right Kosie Onyegbule, Aiden Pomroy, Aberdeen City Council Co Leader Councillor Jenny laing, Lucas Docherty and Elena Mariciuc.