Allerdale GDF Community Partnership

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June 6, 2023

The Allerdale GDF Community Partnership has been working with budding entrepreneurs at Victoria Infant School in Workington to design, create and sell ‘Bug Hotels’.

The Year 2 ‘Habitat Heroes’ have been learning about what would make a business successful, such as the right product, people, price, place, and promotion.

The sessions were supported by Allerdale GDF Community Partnership member and Head of Research, Development and Innovation at NUVIA, Adrian Davis-Johnston and Nuclear Waste Services (NWS) Community Coordinator, Katy Arnott, who were on hand to offer help and advice.

Bright Stars is an exciting collaboration between Centre for Leadership Performance, primary schools and local organisations across Cumbria that encourages leadership and responsible entrepreneurship from a young age and builds relationships between local organisations and primary schools that benefit communities.

Pupils are challenged to create a business with an initial investment of £50, and prizes are given for achievements such as best teamwork, best business idea and most profit.

Adrian Davis-Johnston said: “Working with the wonderful children and staff at Victoria Infant School has been a truly remarkable experience. The enthusiasm and passion of these young people to learn and create has been breath-taking, and the Habitat Heroes have managed to make a successful business without using any of their upfront funding, gathering materials from the natural environment to make amazing habitats for insects and pollinators – which has been a key focus of the pupils in their regular lessons.”

The Bug Hotels went on sale on a stall outside the school at home time on Friday 19th May and ranged in price from £2-£10.

Early Years Teacher Christine Humble said: “The school is really grateful to the Allerdale GDF Community Partnership for taking part in the Bright Stars Programme at Victoria Infant School. The work the children have been doing under Adrian and Katy’s guidance has given them a real sense of pride and ownership and an early understanding of the importance of teamwork and managing money and finances. They have also learnt about growing their own food and have a new awareness of where their food comes from. The Bug Hotels sold out quickly and I expect our Habitat Heroes will be looking to produce more in the future.”

“Myself and my colleague, Chloe, have enjoyed the project as much as the children and the sense of teamwork and achievement amongst the children has been fantastic.”

The Centre for Leadership Performance was recently awarded £30,000 in Community Investment Funding by the Allerdale GDF Community Partnership for the continuation of the Bright Stars Programme in 2023 which will see up to 50 schools across Cumbria take part in the challenge to run their own mini social enterprise.

Centre for Leadership Performance Executive Director, Sarah Glass said: “The Allerdale GDF Community Partnership funding enables more local businesses to forge stronger links to their local schools through this inclusive and exciting programme that broadens the horizons of young people and introduces them to new possibilities and people.”

“The scheme was co-created in partnership with businesses to nurture a culture of aspiration and enterprise. It also removes barriers to engagement between local business and local primary schools and helps to develop the talent pipeline for the future. We want to connect more businesses to work with pupils and develop their business skills, social enterprise ideas and open their minds to the excitement of business from an early age.”

Asked why other organisations and businesses should take part in the Bright Stars programme Adrian said: “Volunteering with Bright Stars not only allowed me to pass on some business skills and knowledge to the next generation but has also provided me with a learning opportunity too. The ideas and creativity that has been sparked by these little legends has been a joy to be part of, and there’s nothing quite like getting honest feedback from a 7-year-old when you’re working together – I definitely need to stop walking around so much when I’m speaking! It’s a grounding experience in more ways than one!”