Lifelong leadership learning in Cumbria

‘Water difference’ these students have made by Leading Change at Workington Academy

Students from Workington Academy have devised a scheme to replace thousands of single-
use water bottles bought by pupils each year with reusable bottles they can refill.

The Year 9 pupils targeted reducing plastic waste through the Leading Change programme
run by the Centre for Leadership Performance. Designed to develop vital leadership and life
skills including communication, team working and planning, Leading Change is enabled by
the Cumbria Community Foundation CanDo fund.

With help from school staff and a business mentor the Leading Change team secured 1000
water bottles from United Utilities to be branded with a logo designed by one of the team.
They organised a launch event and made presentations to pupils highlighting shocking facts
on plastic use and pollution to raise awareness of their campaign.

John Hilton, Project Director for United Utilities, said:

“We believe in reducing the amount of single use plastics and reusable water bottles are one way to tackle the issue.  We were impressed by the project that the students are taking on and were happy to donate over 1,000 reusable bottles to help them on their way.”

Workington Academy is supporting the pupils with new recycling bins for plastic and more
water fountains to refill bottles.

The inclusive 8 week Leading Change programme aimed at 12-14 year olds is delivered in
school. Groups are assigned business mentors to help develop their campaign ideas based
on issues that matter most to them, something students want to change or make better.

Tel: 01900 824 822

Seven pupils at Workington Academy made up the action group meeting weekly with
volunteer facilitator Cath Howard, Social Impact Manager for the Box Encapsulation Plant
joint venture between Balfour Beatty and Jacobs at Sellafield. They were also supported by
the Academy’s Director of Learning for Year 8 & 9 Tina Thompson and the CforLP team.

Cath Howard says:

“The pupils rose to the challenge and worked brilliantly together as a team.”

Tina Thompson explains:

“Our pupils seized this opportunity and did a huge amount of work in a very short time. Their research determined which re-usable bottles would be best, pupils were surveyed to get their input into the idea of eradicating single-use water bottles, and they have now turned their environmentally-friendly idea into reality.”

Secondary Programme Manager for CforLP Nicola Woolley adds:

“Leading Change aims to inspire and nurture future aspirations and empower young people. This experience can be life-changing for young people, broadening their horizons and instilling a new confidence in themselves, and in their futures. The success of at Workington Academy shows young people can influence change in their local communities and be part of the solution to issues that they choose to address.”

Lifelong Leadership Learning in Cumbria