Cramlington students prove their litter campaign is anything but rubbish

Cramlington Learning Village's winning team.
Cramlington Learning Village's winning team.

A team of students from Cramlington Learning Village have proved a litter awareness campaign they thought up was anything but rubbish by being named as the north east’s champions in this year’s Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) Real Business Challenge.

This year’s national competition saw more than 100 secondary schools from across the UK regions put their business skills and creativity to the test during a series of regional competitions ending last Thursday.

Winning this regional heat has earned the Highburn school’s team a place at the Real Business Challenge final in London on Wednesday, March 16, and an all-expenses-paid trip to the capital, including tickets to a West End show.

During the two-day final, the students will present their campaigns to MPs including Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb at the House of Commons and compete against ten other regional champions for the chance to win a 3D printer for their school.

Now in its 12th year, the Real Business Challenge is intended to inspire young people, boosting the skills they need to have a competitive edge in the job market. Increasing its reach each year, it now attracts entries from almost 90,000 students annually.

To make it to the final, the Cramlington students had to vie for honours with other youngsters from across the region at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland after being challenged to come up with awareness campaigns encouraging members of the public not to leave litter.

CCE business volunteers were on hand to mentor the teams, offering encouragement and advice, before the students presented their ideas to a panel of judges including experts from litter campaign groups such as Keep Scotland Beautiful, Keep Wales Tidy, Hubbub and Clean Up Britain.

Cramlington Learning Village teacher Craig Baxter said: “I am over the moon for the students and very proud of their achievement.

“They showed a lot of confidence and maturity in their presentation and have been rewarded for all their hard work.”

Gina Solimeno, education programme manager at Coca-Cola Enterprises, said: “The Real Business Challenge continues to go from strength to strength, and we are proud to help give young people vital hands-on business experience through this programme.

“This year, the challenge supports a core part of our sustainability work, which is focused on minimising our business’s impact on the environment.

“We are, therefore, thrilled to be partnering with groups such as Keep Scotland Beautiful, Keep Wales Tidy, Hubbub and Clean Up Britain to raise awareness among key young audiences of the great work they are doing to achieve our shared vision of a tidier, litter-free Great Britain.”