Potty Over Veg?
Pupils at St Christopher’s CE High School are literally going potty over their ‘Pledge 4 Veg’ campaign. They have just received 2,000 pots and seeds to give away to the public as part of their Pledge 4 Veg campaign. They want all local residents to pledge to grow some of their own produce this year. In our town, with lots of terraced housing, they realised despite growing our own food at school, many children thought this couldn’t be continued at home without a large garden. The eco group had other ideas! They launched a campaign called ‘Pledge 4 Veg’ to get the rest of the school and local community growing. To self fund, they wrote letters to local businesses and partnered up with local environmental charity The Prospects Foundation, who gave advice and support along the way. They sourced local compost from SITA and scavenged pots from landscaping of the new sixth form, however, these pots didn’t last long after 300 winter pots were given away on their launch day in December.
Barton Grange Garden Centre came to the rescue after receiving a letter form 12 year old Elliott Goff. Manager Sue Swire said “ ”.
Mrs Litherland, the schools eco schools coordinator, added “We’ve had the backing of the whole community, especially the primary schools and the fans of Accrington Stanley. We’ll be giving these pots out to everyone who attends our Summer Eco Fair on Saturday 11th June”.
Having recently gained the prestigious Eco Schools Green Flag, only the fourth secondary school in Lancashire to have received this award, they are looking to engage the whole community.
“The starter kits we are giving away, shows our commitment to sustainability goes beyond the school gates” commented Mr Green Deputy Head Teacher. However, their collective belief that small changes are worth making has lead them to tremendous local success with even people without gardens being able to enjoy the benefits of home grown produce.
The year 8 pupils firstly presented their idea to the local council, in November, achieving their unanimous backing, then inviting a county councilor to school in December. On a snowy winters morning they launched ‘Pledge 4 Veg’ to the public at their Christmas fair, after sweeping the school paths and cracking the ice on the compost! They ensured their events were published in the local newspapers, football programmes and radio broadcasts. They attended local primary schools, gave assemblies, addressed teacher cluster meetings and produced a 50 second infomercial ‘Choose Veg’ to promote their campaign online. An evening spent in the local supermarket convinced shoppers to ‘Pledge 4 Veg’. A further evening was spent at a home match of Accrington Stanley, collecting another 500 pledges before the game. The local mayor has signed up as well as eminent primatologist Jane Goodall, the entire squad of Accrington Stanley and Blackburn Rovers Football Club. With the backing of well know local celebrities the children have even reached people who would normally have given them the cold shoulder.
Small changes, really can mount up a large effect. They are busy organising the summer eco fair, where a further 2,000 summer pots will be given away. Local primary schools have been asked to make a dish containing as much of their home grown produce as possible as part of their ‘Eco Factor’ event.
They will be the only children presenting a ‘Food Miles/Pledge 4 Veg’ workshop at the Lancashire Sustainable Conference, held in Chipping in May.
See our infomercial at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvqAD-PhNTE&feature=related
See what we’ve been up to locally during Pledge 4 Veg : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMWH55bm_-g