Girvan Academy celebrate after winning the 2017 Footprint Challenge

 20 June 2017  |  

L-R Girvan Academy's Daisy Bradshaw (S6) and Rachel MacKinnon (S3) show off the trophy

L-R Girvan Academy's Daisy Bradshaw (S6) and Rachel MacKinnon (S3) show off the trophy

A team of dedicated young people from Girvan Academy have been unveiled as the winners of an award designed to make their schools more environmentally friendly. The winners of the Provost's Footprint Challenge were announced at a special ceremony at County Buildings in Ayr.

Launched in 2015, the Provost's Footprint Challenge celebrates and rewards the work of South Ayrshire secondary schools, while focusing efforts on driving down ecological footprints, reducing carbon emissions, and saving money.

The projects submitted for 2017 ranged building a greenhouse with bottles, planting trees, litter picking, promoting fairtrade products, raising awareness of the danger of microplastic beads for sea life on our coast, as well as widespread activity to support the WWF's Earth Hour campaign which raises awareness about climate change.

As winners of the Provost's Footprint Challenge 2017, Girvan Academy, demonstrated a thorough understanding of the task at hand. The school built on last year's entry and created a new greenhouse made of plastic bottles and recycled material. The school took part in Earth Hour, promoting a switch-off campaign to demonstrate how making little changes in power use can make a big difference to energy consumption. The team also championed the use of fairtrade tea and coffee at community events at Christmas.

Belmont Academy took the Silver award, while Queen Margaret Academy won Bronze.

South Ayrshire Provost, Helen Moonie, said she'd been impressed by range of entries, "I'd like to congratulate Girvan Academy on winning Gold this year but that doesn't take away from the wide-range of ingenious entries we received from across South Ayrshire.

"As global debate continues on how to combat climate change, it's clear that understanding our environment and helping to use our natural resources as wisely as possible is the world's number one issue.

"By taking the issue seriously now we're sending out a clear message that climate change matters, and I'd like to congratulate everyone who took part for making a real difference in their schools and communities."

Rachel MacKinnon (S3) from the Girvan Academy winning team said taking part had been a great experience, "I'm really proud of the number of activities we have been involved in this year."  Lauren McEwan (S5) added, "Especially within the community. It's been great to work on projects which involve so many people."