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International success for young journalists

Students from West Park Primary School visiting Pantri Box, a plastic free and zero waste shop in Porthcawl.

Students from West Park Primary School in Porthcawl and Ysgol Clywedog in Wrexham have achieved global success, winning first prizes in the international Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) competition. 

Young Reporters for the Environment Litter Less Campaign is an international journalism scheme run in Wales by Keep Wales Tidy on behalf of FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education). It empowers young people between 11-25 to take a stand on the global fight against litter and articulate these issues through writing, photography and film. More than 275,000 students from 45 countries participated in the YRE programme this year, submitting over 16,000 journalistic entries.

Year six students from West Park Primary School in Porthcawl won the written article competition (11-14) after investigating how Porthcawl is trying to solve its plastic problem. Their interviews with businesses, local politicians and residents impressed the international YRE jury, which included professional journalists and representatives of FEE, UNESCO and the UN Environment Programme.

Ysgol Clywedog in Wrexham achieved first places in the International Collaboration category, for their joint film project with Colegio Enriquez Soler – a school in Melilla on the northwest coast of Africa. Together the students investigated the problem of plastic waste across two continents and the things we can do to prevent it, from and recycling it to shopping plastic free.

West Park Primary School and Ysgol Clywedog were entered into the international YRE competition after achieving success in July’s national competition.

Nicholas Brown, Head of Geography at Ysgol Clywedog said:

”We are so proud of the pupils that were involved in this project. At the start of the project, our students looked back at the 2019 competition winner and were doubtful they could do as good a job, but they have proved to themselves that they absolutely can do it, and win! Success is earned by hard work and is not dependent on the area you were born.

Our students have competed on the world stage against students from all backgrounds which is a real confidence boost and I have no doubt that this experience, and working in collaboration with overseas students, will stand them in good stead for their future.

I am looking forward to getting everyone back together and planning our entry for next year’s competition. We have developed a solid relationship with the students in Spain who are keen to continue working with us, so I am excited to see what we can achieve next.”

Lesley Jones, Chief Executive for Keep Wales Tidy said:

“I would like to congratulate West Park Primary School and Ysgol Clywedog on their international success. The students showed great journalistic talent – going above and beyond to find out more about the devastating impacts of plastic pollution and people’s attitudes to sustainability. Together they highlighted how positive changes at a local level can help tackle a global problem.”