Schools in Kent and Medway trumpeted their green travel heroes at the KM Walk to School Awards this week.
The celebration honoured the school staff and volunteers who successfully run KM Walk to School initiatives including walking buses, Walk on Wednesday (WOW), and Active Bug which encourages pupils to walk, cycle or scooter to school as often as possible.
The Kent-wide Top Green Champion Award went to Steve England of Minster Church of England Primary School in Ramsgate. The award for Top New Walking Bus went to the Canterbury Primary School.
Bapchild and Tonge Primary School in Sittingbourne were awarded Top Walk on Wednesday (WOW) School and the Top Walking Bus Award went to Walderslade Primary School in Medway.
“These awards demonstrate the real impact Walk to School is having across the county,” said KM Walk to School chief executive Simon Dolby. “We now have 40,000 children using our Walk to School schemes, tackling congestion on the school run and contributing to healthy lifestyles for our next generation.”
The audience was given a performance by Bromstone Primary School in Broadstairs, winners of the 2014 Walk to School Song Contest, who sang ‘Reach for the Stars’ by S Club 7. The choir will take to the stage once again at the KM Walk to School family event Buster’s Big Bash on Saturday, May 16.
Walk to School writing competition winner Ellie Epps, 10, of Stone St Mary’s Primary School in Dartford was presented with her prize by Luke Irvine, head of environment and energy for Eurostar.
She won the contest to write a letter persuading a friend to join her on the walk to school. Ellie read out her winning submission to the audience, which was addressed to her friend Daisy and named many benefits of green travel including: “It would be great exercise for us and will save our mums money on petrol.”
Her prize is to be an Ashford International team member for a day plus family travel on Eurostar from Ebbsfleet or Ashford International for up to four people going to Paris, Brussels or Lille.
The Walk to School Awards ceremony on Tuesday, February 10 was held at Commissioner’s House at the Historic Dockyard, Chatham and supported by Kent Messenger, Kent County Council, Medway Council, Orbit South, Golding Vision (part of Golding Homes), Three R’s Teacher Recruitment, Leeds Castle, Countrystyle Recycling, Southern Water, Eurostar, Jelf Insurance, Whitefriars, Thanet District Council, Ashford Borough Council, Maidstone Borough Council, Swale Borough Council, Mini Babybel and Specsavers.
Support also came from the Cole Charitable Trust, the East Kent Province Masons, and the Co-operative.
Sound production was provided by Independent Music Productions, and programmes by D. Isom Printers. Coach company YMS Travel transported Bromstone Primary School’s choir to the event free of charge.
Schools interested in taking part in award-winning green travel schemes can visit www.kmwalktoschool.co.uk and click on the ‘Walk to School’ tab or call 0844 264 0291.
The full list of winning schools:
Medway: Walderslade Primary School, Greenvale Infant and Nursery School, Featherby Infant and Nursery School; Ashford and Shepway: The John Wallis Academy, Lyminge Church of England Primary School; Thanet: Monkton Church of England Primary School, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Minster Church of England Primary School; Tonbridge and Malling and Maidstone: Slade Primary School, Loose Primary School, St Francis Catholic Primary School; Swale: Bapchild and Tonge Primary School, South Avenue Primary School, Grove Park Primary School; Tunbridge Wells: Hawkhurst Church of England Primary School, Goudhurst and Kilndown Church of England Primary School; Canterbury: St John’s Church of England Primary School, Blean Primary School, The Canterbury Primary School.