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Free travel for school visits as Gatwick announce new partnership

The partnership covers travel costs to Kew’s Botanic Gardens, Wakehurst.

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Wakehurst Place, Picture by Jim Holden

London Gatwick has today announced a new, year-long partnership with Kew’s wild botanic garden Wakehurst to support a bursary programme for schools in the South East. It will cover the cost of travel to the site for schools with students from disadvantaged backgrounds, enabling them to learn about seed conservation and the research work of Kew’s scientists.

Wakehurst, is funded and managed by the Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG) Kew. Located in Ardingly, West Sussex, there are more than 500 acres of botanic gardens, woodlands and a nature reserve containing wetlands and meadowland to explore. It is also home to the Millennium Seed Bank, the largest seed conservation project in the world.

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Wakehurst also provides a wide variety of educational activities for students, which meet curriculum targets across a range of subjects including: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The RBG Kew schools bursary programme is aimed at Key Stage 2 (7 to 11 years old) students at schools with a higher level of pupil premium funding. These are often situated in catchment areas with a range of social and economic challenges and where achievement is below the national average. These schools are less likely to be able to raise funds for out-of-school visits.

In support of the bursary programme, Gatwick Airport is funding the travel costs for these schools to visit Wakehurst, which receives an average of 10,000 school children annually.

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The partnership, which also provides corporate membership benefits for the airport’s staff, sits within Gatwick’s Community Engagement ‘Inform, Inspire, Invest’ education strategy, including partnerships with other STEM initiatives, such as the Big Bang Fair and Learn Live broadcasts.

Gatwick Airport’s Head of Community Engagement, Alison Addy, said:

“We are delighted to be partnering with Wakehurst to provide an opportunity for students to visit and develop their understanding of the important conservation work which takes place at the botanic garden.

“It is our aim to inform and inspire the next generation of young people to take an interest in STEM related opportunities such as this, which will in turn help them develop the skills they need for their future careers.”

Tony Sweeney, Director of Wakehurst, said:

“There is so much to see and learn at Wakehurst. We find that students are fascinated by the incredible plants, trees and landscape as well as what’s happening inside the science labs of the world class Millennium Seed Bank.

“We are 100% committed to sharing our knowledge and passion for plants with students, hoping to inspire a love of the natural world so they become its champions, guardians and perhaps future researchers, We are thrilled to be bringing more students to experience this thanks to the new partnership with Gatwick Airport.”

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Education

Crawley Junior Citizen returns for 28th year

The event aims to provide information about potentially dangerous situations, in a fun and memorable way to the children of Crawley.

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For the 28th year running, Junior Citizen is taking place at The Hawth, teaching local children about safety and life skills.

The event, organised by Crawley Borough Council, is open to all Year 6 children across the borough’s schools, teaching ten and eleven year olds to identify all kinds of potentially dangerous situations, providing advice on what to do and helping them learn valuable life skills to encourage responsible citizenship.

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The aim is to provide important information in a fun and memorable way and more than 1,200 children will take part.

The fortnight long event covers issues such as electrical safety, air quality, consequences of crime, personal safety, fire safety and hoax calls, water safety at the seaside, reducing water use, and waste and the environment.

Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Sustainability, Councillor Geraint Thomas, said:

“Junior Citizen is a fantastic event that has been teaching generations of local children how to be safe and considerate members of the community and I am delighted that it is back again for the 28th year.

“I hope every pupil enjoys themselves while learning valuable life skills.”

This year, Crawley Junior Citizen has been shortlisted for Best Environmental Health Project at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Excellence Awards 2018. The winner will be announced in their awards ceremony in November.

Junior Citizen is supported by partner organisations including West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, West Sussex County Council, Crawley Luxury Coaches, Crawley Neighbourhood Watch, the Royal National Lifeboat Institute; Southern Water, Crawley Magistrates, UK Power Networks, Sussex Community Rail Partnership and the Probus Club of the Sussex Weald.

For more information on Environmental Health Services at Crawley Borough Council visit, www.crawley.gov.uk/environment

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