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Gatwick Airport announced as official main partner for the Brighton Marathon

Gatwick has been announced as an official main partner for the Brighton Marathon and will issue 20,000 free reusable water bottles to runners and volunteers as part of the airport’s drive to promote sustainable practices.

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The airport will also waive the fee for theCancer Research UK Kids and Teens Mini Mile races to encourage more participants and donations to charity. Instead of an entry fee, participants will be invited to make an optional donation to race sponsor Cancer Research UK. Making the event free to enter will also give children, who might not have otherwise taken part, the opportunity to be part of one of the largest youth races in the UK.

The Brighton Marathon will be held on 14th April 2019 and is the 2nd largest in the UK and the 8th largest in Europe, with 12,000 runners expected to start and up to 200,000 spectators.

Sustainability is an important focus for Gatwick as the airport continues to progress its Decade of Change programme. Gatwick was the first airport to secure accreditation as a zero waste to landfill airport by the Carbon Trust.

Gatwick has partnered with the marathon as its helps to raise money for charities nationally and regionally and because it promotes local health and wellbeing – both of which form key aspects in the airport’s community engagement strategy.

The airport will also be supporting its charity partners at the Event Village, with co-branding of St Catherine’s Hospice and Kent, Sussex and Surrey Air Ambulance Marquees – two vital local charities that will hopefully receive more donations as a result of their increased exposure to the 200,000 spectators expected during the marathon weekend in Brighton.

Melanie Wrightson, Community Engagement Manager, London Gatwick, said:

“We are excited to be sponsoring the Brighton Marathon Weekend again this year and hope that giving away reusable water bottles helps to reduce litter and single use plastics at the event, while also raising awareness on how important sustainability is for our local environment.

“We are also supporting the Brighton Marathon Weekend because it promotes the health and wellbeing of so many local people and it raises a fantastic amount money for good causes across the region.

“The Gatwick team wish all this year’s runners the best of luck.”

Tom Naylor, Event Director, Brighton Marathon Weekend, said: The Brighton Marathon Weekend is an event with so many positive associations, from encouraging thousands of people to get outdoors and active, to the millions of pounds raised for charity and spent in the local economy. It is our goal to maintain that positive association in all that we do, including our sustainability efforts. By developing our plastics policy and reducing our impact on the environment, we hope to set new standards within the running events industry and help develop the way in which events operate and use plastics in the future. We are so grateful for Gatwick’s continued support and for making the provision of reusable bottle possible.”

Education

Two hundred local pupils attend Eco summit at Crawley school

The Gatwick sponsored ‘Eco, Young, and Engaged’ (EYE) conference saw eight local schools and 200 pupils from Crawley and Horsham attend Ifield Community College on Monday to get a practical understanding of the environment and the importance of sustainability.

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Aged between six and seventeen, pupils chose between 13 workshops where they could learn about making their own compost and the wildlife within it, and about the effect that different clothing materials have on the environment and therefore which ones are more sustainable to buy and wear.

Other workshops included practical team challenges on how to upcycle (reuse) everyday items – such as using old milk bottles as planters for herbs – and how to harness the power of both wind turbines and solar panels to generate electricity.

The conference is part of the wider EYE campaign which seeks to bring schools in West Sussex together to focus on the importance of caring for our planet – to promote sustainability and encourage young people’s interest in environmental issues.

Gatwick’s Head of Sustainability, Rachel Thompson, gave an introductory talk on what sustainability is and its importance for protecting the environment.  She also discussed Gatwick’s ‘Decade of Change’ report, which tracks the airport’s progress on ten sustainability targets set over a ten year period (2010 to 2020), and explained how Gatwick’s buildings and fleet are carbon neutral.

The sponsorship of the conference is part of Gatwick’s wider community engagement programme which aims to make lasting and positive impacts to local communities and young people. Gatwick is also partnering with 15 local schools as part of the Primary Engineer programme to help schools teach STEM-based subjects in a more relatable and practical way to inspire more students to study the subjects.

Rachel Thompson, Head of Sustainability, Gatwick Airport said:

“It was great to see the enthusiasm of the students and hear their excellent questions and ideas. We hope today’s event will inspire more eco school projects and also encourage more students to consider studying STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects and pursuing careers in sustainability.”

Irram Ali, Ifield Community College Eco Lead, said:

“It was an honour to have been able to host the first Eco-Summit in Crawley. At Ifield Community College we are focused on encouraging our students to proactively engage with environmental issues and this was an excellent opportunity for such engagement to take place. All students were passionate and enthused and will hopefully implement some of their new knowledge in our local schools and community.”

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