Sparsholt College Group have hosted a fantastic green enterprise challenge for local schools as part of Winchester Sustainability Pyramid. The challenge involved students from five schools local to Winchester including: Henry Beaufort, Osborne, Kings, Perins and Westgate.   

Sparsholt College provided four weeks’ worth of teaching resources to give this year’s pupils some inspiration for working up their proposals. Subject headings included travel, food waste, litter, fashion and behaviour, with sustainability the main driver throughout. 

All schools worked to create sustainable ideas for their campus before choosing the best presentations to pitch in front of the event’s panel of experts in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style event watched by a packed audience of teachers and family. 

The panel of Dragons was made up by: 

  • Julie Milburn – Principal and CEO of Sparsholt College Group. Before this she held senior leadership roles at Farnborough College of Technology, Newbury and East-Durham College. Julie has overseen vast investment into the Sparsholt Campus overseeing the purchasing of new Green Technologies across the entire college groups and its campuses.  
  • Natalie WelchCo-founder of B Corp Comms Agency, The Typeface Group, an international Strongwoman Competitor, parent and vice-chair of the Hampshire FA Inclusion Advisory Board.  
  • Jamie Mackay – Dr Jamie Mackay is a highly respected Strategy Manager and Project Manager for the Local Skills Improvement Plan.  
  • Sarah Davis Business Improvement District Manager for Winchester 
  • Jim Lescop – A sustainability educator who works for the DeCarbon Easer, providing support to business and individuals regarding their carbon footprint and making positive changes.  

The schools presented the following ideas, and all won £250 from the dragons to implement their ideas on campus:  

Osborne School wanted to encouraging using litter bins on campus by adding a QR code to each recycling point. Users would scan the code each time they use the recycling point and gain the chance to spin a wheel to win prizes donated to local businesses. Kings School pitched to invest in better water fountains and reducing waste to landfill with school events such as a fashion swap shop at school, a Vinted account and upcycling events. Perins School’s ideas were around recycling and sustainability included fruit tree planting, whilst Westgate School’s project was based on recycling and composting. Henry Beaufort asked the dragons to fund coloured recycling bins for each different academic house to encourage a friendly competition and more recycling across the Henry Beaufort Campus.  

Mark Treagust, Vice Principal for Sparsholt College said: “The evening was a great success, the five schools all brought such enthusiasm and professionalism. It was fantastic to hear their pitches to our dragons and hope that their green ideas now they have the funding will make some real change to their campuses. We look forward to catching up with them later in the year to see how they are getting on with developing these.”