Launch Day

The Waterline Student Challenge (Virtual)


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Event Sponsor

Monday 18th October - Sponsored by SSE Thermal

This event marked the inaugural year of The Waterline Student Challenge - a unique opportunity for students aged 11-18 to play their part in finding the solutions to harmful environmental problems. Over the past six months, students have demonstrated their passion for sustainability, by delivering innovative and inspiring eco projects. Projects have now been judged by regional businesses that will each deliver an exciting behind-the-scenes visit for the 6 selected finalists. This opportunity is additional to a cash prize for each finalist team.

This event shared the exciting finalist projects, with the successful teams joining us to share more about the motivations behind their work and why they were inspired to get involved in the challenge.

Attendees heard from the Student Challenge Business Sponsor, SSE Thermal, alongside other business representatives, about the importance of inspiring the next generation to start their green, sustainable careers here in the Humber during what is, and will continue to be, a hugely exciting time for the region.

Finally, the overall Student Challenge Winner will be crowned - winning an additional cash prize for their school, college, or youth club, as well as the exciting opportunity to join SSE Thermal in Glasgow during the COP26 conference to share their winning project.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Kate Wallace Lockhart, Group’s Head of Social Impact, SSE
  • Beckie Hart, Director for Yorkshire & the Humber, CBI (Confederation of British Industry)
  • Sue Allan, Finance Director, Willerby
  • Mark Blenkinsop, Head of Estates, KCOM
  • Finalists from The Waterline Student Challenge teams
  • Andrew Percy, Member of Parliament for Brigg & Goole and the Isle of Axholme

Kate Wallace Lockhart, Group’s Head of Social Impact, SSE Thermal, will deliver the welcome and launch The Waterline Student Challenge, setting the scene for the challenge and announcing the 6 finalist teams.

This will be followed by The Waterline Student Challenge Film which will give an overview of the work of the six finalist teams from around the region.

Keynote Speaker, Beckie Hart, Regional Director Yorkshire & the Humber at CBI (Confederation of British Industry) will discuss the importance of engaging students in sustainability for businesses of the future, while Sue Allan (Finance Director, Willerby) and Mark Blenkinsop (Head of Estates, KCOM), will share the experience of being a judge and describe the opportunities and benefits for students engaging with our local businesses. Willerby, alongside 5 other regional companies - ABP, KCOM, Orsted, Yorkshire Water and SSE Thermal - are providing VIP 'behind the scene' experiences for each of the finalist teams, allowing students to learn about the sustainable projects of scale taking place around the region and also learn about the sustainable careers for the future.

The 6 winning teams were zoomed in live to talk briefly about their projects and why they wanted to take part in The Waterline Student Challenge.

Finally, the overall winners - RDUTC's Sustainability Crew - were crowned by Andrew Percy MP, and will enjoy the amazing experience of attending COP26 with SSE Thermal to present their project in Glasgow.

"It’s clear just how passionate the students are in making sure their voices are heard and protecting the environment for future generations." – Kate Wallace-Lockhart

"You could argue they are the final generation of students who have the chance to make a difference. We have just 10 years to reduce the impact of climate change and ensure we don’t exceed temperature rises of 1.5 degrees. We all need a mirror holding up, once in a while, so we think about our actions." – Beckie Hart

"There’s no induvial firm whose business plan won’t be affected by the transition to a net zero economy. The advantages are endless.

"There are good jobs to be had from the opportunities that are created by our response to climate change. The time is now to take advantage of the most significant development opportunity the region has ever seen." – Beckie Hart

"The teams have really brought their projects to life. We had a great experience when judging, we’ve even stolen some of your ideas already and brought them back to Willerby to reduce our impact." – Sue Allan

"I was blown away by the fantastic ideas the students brought forward, it provided a real insight into the mindset of young people and their passion for the environment. They worked superbly in collaboration to bring these projects to life." – Mark Blenkinsop

"Thank you to all the teams who have been involved, it makes me proud as one of our MPs, representing you in Westminster, to see how brilliant all these projects are. I’m glad I wasn’t on the judging panel as they would be almost impossible to pick from.

"The Humber has been at the centre of the UK’s economic growth for two centuries, all the industries that have driven our economic wealth with huge advantages for us. The disadvantages of these means we are the highest emitting region in the UK, and we need to do something about it. Lots of the innovation we’ve seen today is a great start in helping us along that journey.

“There are huge opportunities for young people to take up as the Humber takes a leading role in ‘greening’ the UK.”– Andrew Percy MP


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