It’s been a great experience delivering our first Mudlarks project commissioned by London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF) and in partnership with a wide range of other organisations: The Royal College of Art (RCA), BBC Studios, Plogolution, Western Riverside Waste Authority, Thames 21, Lyric Theatre, The Whale Company, North End Road Market, Lilla Huset Professional Development, Canal and River Trust and 3BM.
The project ended with a Primary schools conference on the 3rd July at the Lyric with a warm welcome from Sian Alexander, Lyric Theatre Executive Director, followed by words from Jan Parnell, LBHF’s Assistant Director of Education and an inspirational talk by Praveen Gopalan, Sustainability Executive and Jonathan Williams, Blue Planet Executive Producer from BBC studios.
This was followed by children’s short presentations from participating schools about their project work, a speed networking activity where all participants had a chance to learn more about each others projects before finishing with some encouraging words from Councillor Larry Culhane, Cabinet Member for Children & Education.
We finished the conference with a sing along thanks to the children from Miles Coverdale Primary School who made a great job thanks to their teacher Ms Potter and our friend Colin Athill their music coordinator, you can hear their song here: https://youtu.be/0bQTRCGfmOU
It’s worth noting that a major factor in the project’s success has been the opportunity to work Diana Edgecombe and Michelle Rebelo, from Hammersmith and Fulham Children’s Services, who were responsible for recruiting and managing partners and apprentices who helped on the project delivery and conference. What an amazing job they did!
Something else that made the project special was we were keen on taking a STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Art & Design, Maths) education approach. This meant that some schools took a more scientific path while others used a more creative approach in their response. For instance, Sir John Walham Green school worked with RCA and created a calendar using recycled plastics and Miles Coverdale created a 3R song (hear it above!). John Betts school had the opportunity to work with AJ from Thames 21 and had a chance of doing water testing and a micro-plastics survey in the River Thames by Hammersmith bridge.
Brackenbury schools students went on a trip to the grand union canal and made nature boosters (bird feeders and planters) using recycled plastic bottles.
Avonmore worked with local businesses, went to North End road market and came to the Lilla Huset where they did some surveys to identify how well businesses are doing and how can they improve when dealing with plastic waste. Their top tips for business to deal with plastics include:
- Squash bottles and put lids back on
- Take jar lids off and put them in separately
- Flatten cardboard boxes
- Rinse out items
- Black plastics are ok
- If in doubt leave it out!
Special thanks to Victoria and Sophie from LBHF’s Recycling Team who were very supportive during the project delivery and came to a few schools to support their work. Also, many thanks to: all participating schools and teachers, the RCA staff and students, the WRWA education team for hosting school visits, it was a great experience for school children to see how the scale of their waste and how it gets recycled. Michelle and Dermot from Plogolution who helped a few schools do some local plogs, AJ from Thames 21 for the microplastics session and to all other project partners and volunteers whose help we couldn’t have done without!