The community engagement efforts of a group of Berwickshire High School pupils have been recognised at the 2016 Social Enterprise in Education Awards in Edinburgh.
The annual event is an opportunity for young entrepreneurs from schools across Scotland to celebrate their achievements of creating successful pupil-led social enterprises and 200 pupils from 32 schools across the country came together with peers to showcase the social enterprises they have started, grown and managed themselves, to an audience that included John Swinney MSP,
The Berwickshire pupils received a Social Enterprise Award for their work with older people, which included running a tea party for residents at Boston Court, Duns.
Pavel Miller, Arran Colvine, Nathan Sinclair, Abigail Sullivan and Peter Martin became involved with the project in S4 and S5 following a visit by the Social Enterprise Academy to the school in November 2015.
Recognising that older people can sometimes feel lonely and isolated, they decided to organise an event that would build relationships with the older generation.
With support from the council’s community learning and development team, the group contacted the residents association at Boston Court to discuss holding a fundraiser for residents and they settled on an interactive coffee morning where the young people showed off their baking skills and they are now keen to build on their success and do more in the community in the future.
Support was also provided by Fraser Docherty MBE, Edinburgh entrepreneur and founder of the SuperJam Tea Parties charity which organises events across the UK for older people who live alone or in care. He said: “We felt that organising an event like this would encourage people to get out a bit more and socialise, and make them feel that young people are ok and willing to help out.”
Pavel, Arran, Nathan, Abigail and Peter, in a joint statement, added: “Having visited Boston Court and discussed our ideas with the tenancy committee, they felt it was an excellent idea and something that would really benefit their residents.
“We were very pleased with how successful it was and ended up with a profit and some great ideas to support further intergenerational activities. We raised an impressive £90 and were able to make a donation to Age Scotland to give financial support to the Duns Senior Citizens Club.”
Congratulating the youngsters, Councillor Sandy Aitchison, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for education added: “There is no doubt that there is much to be gained from these two generations coming together to share experiences.”