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Kinlochleven High School and Lundavra Primary in Fort William were among a number of Highland schools which were honoured in the 5th Annual Social Enterprise in Education Awards, which took place at Eden Court Theatre in Inverness last week.
The event was opened by Maree Todd MSP, minister for Children and Young People,and saw 21 schools from across the Highlands and Islands receive awards to celebrate the social enterprises they have been running to solve the social and environmental issues they care about.
In Lundavra Primary’s case it was seed funding from the sale of calendars at the school’s Christmas fayre which enabled pupils to develop a community café that runs once a month, where each class has the opportunity to provide entertainment.
There is a ‘toddler corner’ to encourage future parents to attend and a book exchange to ensure sustainability.
Pupils have set up a digital feedback reporting system so that new ideas can be introduced and profits are reinvested with an element going to a local cause chosen by the pupils running the café that particular month.
Kinlochleven High received an award for in creating and selling a special edition of The Big Issue magazine.
A number of schools were involved in the Big Issue project, with the result being a special, social enterprise-inspired supplement, running in all copies of the Scottish edition, with additional copies being sold by children in 14 schools across Scotland on the day the magazine traditionally goes on sale.
The Social Enterprise in Education programme was created as a partnership between the Social Enterprise Academy and the Scottish Government in 2007.
It is a transformative programme that empowers Scotland’s young people to affect social change in their communities whilst developing key core employability and entrepreneurial skills for the future.
Ms Todd said she had been very impressed with the exciting and innovative projects she had seen.
‘My congratulations to everyone who took part in this innovative programme that not only benefits young people but also their teachers, schools and communities,’ she said.
Other schools in the Lochaber Time area which picked up awards were Bun-Sgoil Ghaidhlig Phort Righ (Portree, Isle of Skye), Plockton High School and Kilchuimen Primary School (Fort Augustus).
Lundavra Primary pupils receive the school’s award from Nicola Ewing of HIE.