Special awards to help change climate for the better

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Overall winner of the John Turner Prize for 2019 was Marley Wright who is a pupil at Thomas Jolyffe Primary School. Marley is pictured with the trophy which she won for her video warning about the severe threat of plastic to the world’s ocean life.

THE inaugural John Turner Prize was hosted by local charity Rubbish Friends, Stratford, at Thomas Jolyffe Primary School recently and was attended by over 250 people who enjoyed an environmental award ceremony with a clear message to change the climate for the better.

 Launched in April, the competition invited local schools and young people to submit environment enhancing ideas, pictures, videos and projects to help enhance and protect the planet.

The theme is one that John Turner from Tiddington held dear to his heart. He founded Rubbish Friends, Tiddington, with the support of his children Jake and Emily and his wife Samantha.

Sadly, John did not get the opportunity to further his environmental ambitions for Tiddington and Alveston as he succumbed to cancer last September.

The awards on Saturday were as much a tribute to John’s memory as to his passion for taking care of the world around us. Samantha, Jake and Emily helped organise the competition and the intention is to stage the award ceremony annually.

Samantha said: “John was extremely passionate about caring for our environment and our community and the award is a lovely way to continue his legacy. The children’s entries are simply wonderful; from posters to 3-D models, poems and videos, they are so thought provoking and powerful. John would have been very proud of them all.”

There were three categories for the shortlisted award winners at Saturday’s ceremony; school reception, years 1 and 2, years 3,4,5,6 and finally senior schools/colleges.

The Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire, Tim Cox, Stratford mayor, Cllr Kate Rolfe and BBC presenter Jo Tidman attended to present prizes with the overall winner receiving The John Turner Prize during the evening. Families and friends in the community also attended.

Prizes for the winners included a litter picker, education experiences at The Farm, Snitterfield, membership to a wildlife magazine, along with an engraved trophy to keep. There was also a winner’s winner prize allocated to the best overall entry which included the John Turner Prize and family membership to Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.

And the winners were; Oscar Delbeke from Alveston Primary with his creation of a seagull surrounded by plastic (years 1 and 2); Welcombe Hills School, Blue Class – The Veggie Project (senior school and college) and the overall winner of the John Turner Prize and winner of the year, 3,4,5,6 category was Marley Wright from Thomas Jolyffe Primary with her video creation titled, Marley’s Urgent Massage. A short film about protecting the oceans from the threat of plastic which Marley narrates on YouTube. SOS is her message – Save Our Seas.

Becky Reynolds, founder of Rubbish Friends, Stratford said: “John was instrumental in setting up Rubbish Friends, Tiddington and Alveston. He was a wonderful person and a great advocate for the work of Rubbish Friends. This award honours his commitment to caring for the environment through our young people and creates a permanent legacy.”

“The organisation of the John Turner Prize has been a real team effort and we are very grateful for the support we have recived across our community. Local organisations such as NFU Mutual, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, Tesco, Tiddington Spa, The Slabb Chocolate and The Farm at Snitterfield have generously sponsored the event and special thanks also to Thomas Jolyffe School for hosting the event. We also had 123 environmental entries from Bishopton Primary School which was displayed at the awards evening. All of the finalist’s work will go on display at The Farm, Snitterfield,” Becky added.