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MP Julie Elliott visits plastic free Sunderland school as pupils work towards achieving sustainable initiative

A secondary school in Sunderland has been praised by MP Julie Elliott after a pupil-led wellbeing group carried out a sustainable scheme to become plastic-free.

Tuesday, 5th April 2022, 11:45 am

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St Aidan’s Catholic Academy, which is part of Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust, has been accredited by Surfers Against Sewage, a marine conservation charity that works with communities to protect oceans, beaches and marine life after becoming plastic-free.

Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott visited the school last week to congratulate pupils on the progress they’ve made in becoming a more sustainable school.

The student wellbeing group has worked on several environmental and health initiatives which includes creating a sculpture out of collected plastics and their next big project, a community allotment.

MP Julie Elliott with teacher Anna Armstrong.

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Julie Elliott said: “It’s wonderful to see how much work young people in the region are doing to preserve and protect our planet and how passionate they are to create positive change.

“I’m so impressed with St Aidan’s pupils and how they’ve achieved a plastic-free school and implemented a wide range of other sustainable initiatives to create a more environmentally friendly school for everyone to enjoy.

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“The allotment project is very exciting as not only is it eco-friendly, but it will also provide a good resource for encouraging better physical and mental health - I can’t wait to see the final result.”

Members of the Wellbeing group at St Aidan’s Catholic Academy.

Other schemes in place at the sustainable school involve a clothes bank in school and wooden toys made from left over wood for a local baby bank.

Anna Armstrong, a teacher at St Aidan’s, said: “I’m so proud of our pupils and their hard work that’s enabled us to become a more sustainable school.

“Our pupils are very concerned about climate change, and they want to lead by example in demonstrating how we can live in a way that’s better for the environment.

“Sustainability at St Aidan’s isn’t just about the wellbeing of the environment, it’s about the physical and mental health of people in our local community too.

Students at St Aidan’s Catholic Academy working on their sustainable project.

“The wellbeing group is very focused on initiatives that promote better health. More than ever, people need green spaces such as our wonderful new allotment because these types of environments have a very positive impact on both physical and mental wellbeing.”

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