Pupils from Denfield Park Primary School in Rushden have proved they are real Changemakers by raising funds to improve their playground equipment and creating a ‘buddy stop’ to make sure that their classmates always have someone to play with.
The 25 children, ranging from age five to 11, visited the University of Northampton on Monday 3 July, along with their teacher Alice Freeman, and were presented with the Ruby Changemaker Award by the Vice Chancellor Professor Nick Petford.
The Changemaker Student Awards form part of the University’s commitment as an Askoka U Changemaker Campus to work with, celebrate and actively engage local schoolchildren in social change.
After identifying the issue of there not being enough play equipment to go around, the Changemaker team came up with ideas to raise money for new toys, such as present-making, raffles, discos and even starting up a yo-yo club.
With over £1,700 in funds, they have so far bought a giant Connect4, giant Jenga, a basketball net and toys for indoor play too.
The ‘buddy stop’ was also established, after it was noted that not all children were joining in at playtime. The idea is that the Changemaker team gather at a particular point during playtime so there is always someone available to talk to or play with.
Janice Watkins, Project Lead for the Changemaker Hub at the University of Northampton, said “I’m very proud of the way these young Changemakers have identified a situation that they wanted to change for the better. Their fundraising skills have been amazing, as well as the empathy they have shown to their fellow pupils with the creation of a ‘buddy stop’.
“This award demonstrates all the hard work that the pupils have put in to make playtimes at their school more fun, as well as the experience they gained in working together as a team.”
The Changemaker Student Awards aim to recognise, celebrate and build children’s skills as Changemakers through innovative self-designed projects in their schools and the wider community.
The programme consists of three progressive levels; Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald, which lead to a Changemaker Student Award.