A group of enterprising Cumbrian school pupils will be heading to the heart of Government this month to pick up a prize for their entrepreneurship.
Kendal's Sandgate School have won the Giving Nation Spirit 2011/12 award and are being acknowledged for their work on enterprise in an event at the Treasury on Thursday 25 October.
Sandgate are the third Cumbrian school in two years to be commended for their work on enterprise at the Treasury - and the first special school in the county to gain recognition with a Giving Nation Challenge award in this field.
The Giving Nation Challenge is a social enterprise programme run with secondary schools in Cumbria in partnership between Cumbria County Council and The Citizenship Foundation.
As part of the Giving Nation Challenge, students work in teams to identify an issue within their community and then set up a social enterprise to meet that need. Each secondary school that signs up for the Challenge is able to access a grant of £ 450 from the Citizenship Foundation.
The grant is used as start up capital to enable students to get their business ideas off the ground and the challenge is then run internally in each school. Students are required to ensure that the business model for their social enterprise generates sufficient income so that the project can be sustainable and run again with a new cohort of students the following year.
Each school that takes part in the challenge then sends a winning team to represent their school in the Cumbria final where they present their ideas to a panel of judges to compete for a regional trophy and be entered into the national competition.
Schools that took part in this year's 2012 Cumbria final included St Bernard's Catholic High School, West Lakes Academy, Sandgate School and Ullswater Community College. This year's challenge saw the award for best presentation go to Year 7 students from Ullswater Community College.
The overall winners of the 2012 regional trophy went to students from Sandgate School who developed a social enterprise selling afternoon tea boxes to raise money for benches for their local community garden that could accommodate wheelchairs users.
Councillor Duncan Fairbairn, Cumbria County Council's cabinet member for schools and learning, said: "The pupils at Sandgate School have shown a real flair for entrepreneurship and I congratulate them for their efforts.
"Going to the Treasury will be an exciting experience for all involved and this recognition for their achievements is fully deserved."
Rachel Slattery from Sandgate School said: "The challenge has been fantastic, it has enabled us to use enterprise across the curriculum and the students have developed many new skills. The students are thrilled about their national win and are looking forward to the awards ceremony at the treasury."
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