Eastlea Primary School win LOVE award
July 15, 2018
A Cramlington school has won a prestigious award after setting up a cycling scheme.
The LOVE Northumberland School Sustainable Travel Award has been won by Eastlea Primary School who received a cash prize plus a scooter pod from Modeshift.
Twenty-two groups, organisations, schools and individuals were honoured with winner, runner-up or highly commended awards across eight categories and representatives of all shortlisted entries were invited to attend the award ceremony at The Alnwick Garden, which was hosted by BBC TV presenter Carol Malia and where the Duchess of Northumberland helped celebrate the achievements of all attendees.
The school set up a cycling project to encourage pupils to cycle more around their local area. Cramlington has a huge network of cycling paths which pupils often aren’t fully aware of or use regularly, their project has two main elements the Bike or Hike and the Cycle Club.
The children were set a challenge to raise money by biking or hiking to Blyth Beach, the community police got involved and helped with the safety aspects of the day and the Northumberland Veterans Cycle club cycled with the pupils. All the pupils experienced a huge sense of achievement and enjoyed the challenge with the money raised paying for a school visit to the BBC studios.
The school followed Bike or Hike up by setting up their own Cycle Club, they had help from Cycle Experience, who lent them bikes and other equipment. The improvement in the pupils skills and confidence was amazing and the children were able to experience what was on their doorstep.
The benefit of involving other organisations has been immense, pupils often associate the police with negative issues so it was a positive experience for them to spend time with the police officers and also the veterans cycle club.
During the year the school also took part in Walk to School Week, Road Safety activities, Bikeability and Balance Bike sessions which have all contributed to the school achieving a bronze award in the National Modeshift STARS accreditation scheme.
Hopefully the children now realise that the cycle paths in Cramlington are a fantastic, unique asset and they will continue to use them in the future to explore their local area and beyond.
The annual awards were developed by Northumberland County Council through its LOVE Northumberland campaign, with the aim of promoting the work of the council and its many partner organisations, community groups and volunteers who all help to preserve and enhance the environment in the county.
Councillor Jeff Watson, civic head of Northumberland County Council, welcomed everyone to the awards evening, saying: “All of the shortlisted entries should be very proud of all of their work, and I sincerely hope that they enjoyed this event, in the inspiring setting of The Alnwick Garden.
“The LOVE Northumberland awards are all about celebrating what individuals and groups do, largely in a voluntary capacity, to keep their local areas green and clean right across Northumberland. I have been extremely impressed by the quality and breadth of the work highlighted through the awards – and thank them all, on behalf of the residents and visitors who benefit.
“Her Grace the Duchess of Northumberland has been very generous in giving up her time each year to present prizes to the winners, and we are very grateful to her for this support.”
The main sponsor of the awards again this year was The Banks Group and community relations manager, Jeannie Kielty, said: “Our company has had a long history with these awards – having been pleased to support them since 2012. All of the groups and individuals do an amazing job for their local communities and I have never failed to be impressed by the range and standard of new applications received each year.
“We want to make a positive difference in the communities we operate in Northumberland, and this sponsorship is just one of the ways that we feel we can do this – recognising the contributions made by local people in enhancing the county’s environment.”
Each winning entry received a £250 prize, each runner-up £100 and highly commended finalists £50, with the money to go towards their project or other work within the local community. Outstanding individuals also received a voucher and a glass trophy.
To find out more about LOVE Northumberland go to www.northumberland.gov.uk/love