Schools across Northern Ireland take top awards at the SSE Airtricity and Eco-Schools Global Wind Awards
Christine Cahoon Tue 09 Jun 2015 updated: Thu 22 Oct 2015
Schools from all across Northern Ireland celebrated their achievements in environmental and energy saving projects at the 2015 SSE Airtricity and Eco-Schools Global Wind Awards, held in Derry~Londonderry’s Everglades Hotel. The Eco-Schools programme is run by environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, sponsored by SSE Airtricity and supported by the Department of the Environment.
Pupils from Fairview Primary School, Ballyclare and Holy Trinity College, Cookstown have been awarded the title of Northern Ireland’s leading primary and post-primary Eco-Committees of the year at the annual awards.
The Eco-Committee of the Year award recognised the special role of both Fairview’s and Holy Trinity’s Eco-Committees in helping drive the Eco-Schools programme within their school. This year saw Fairview awarded their 3rd Green Flag and Holy Trinity their first. Both schools were noted to be outstanding in the amount of environmental projects they are involved in and the strength of their actions both in school and their communities.
Fairview Primary School has also been awarded the title of Northern Ireland’s leading primary school in Operation Energy Project of the Year, along with St Colm’s High School in Draperstown who took the award in the post-primary category.
The Operation Energy Project of the Year award recognised the special efforts made by both Fairview and St Colm’s, in studying the Eco-Schools Energy topic. St Colm’s held a school-wide Power Down Day in November which saw them save a potential £40.00 a day on their energy bill. Pupils are keen to continue the energy and money saving drive at school.
Also honoured at the 2015 SSE Airtricity and Eco-Schools Global Wind Awards was the Guiney Family and their daughter, Ava, who attends Cairnshill Primary School, Belfast who won the Family Energy Champions Poster Competition with their creative poster which highlighted their top energy saving tips at home.
Pupils received their awards from Mark H Durkan, Minister for the Environment, who said: “These awards are an important and fitting recognition of the efforts of our young people, teachers and also their wider families in looking after our environment and saving energy.
“Whenever I visit Eco-Schools I see the passion, pride and potential of the people who will be the next generation of leaders and workers in all walks of life. I take great pride in being here today to recognise these achievements. All entrants should be very proud of your work. Seeing the energy and enthusiasm displayed by all of you, and the other Eco-Schools, gives me tremendous hope for the future of our environment.”
The day itself saw 100 pupils and guests take a specially guided tour of SSE Airtricity’s 76MW Slieve Kirk Wind Park, and experience the power of wind up close, even going inside the turbines.
Josh Bradley, Communications Manager, SSE Airtricity said: “This year’s awards, as in the past two years, have been a great indication as to just how enthusiastic and dedicated Northern Ireland’s Eco-Schools are when it comes to studying energy and the environment. It is great to be able to recognise their achievements here at the Global Wind Awards.”
Carmel Fyfe, Eco-Schools Manager, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, commented: “Congratulations to the winning schools and indeed to all the finalists. Our young people care deeply about the environment and through their Eco-Schools work are making a positive change to their wider communities. It is wonderful to see the schools excelling in such a prestigious international programme and we are delighted to be supported by SSE Airtricity in rewarding them through these very special Global Wind Awards.”
Operation Energy is a free teaching resource developed by SSE Airtricity and Eco-Schools and is available at www.operation-energy.com.