Local School children were invited to create centre pieces out of recycled materials for the Event on Thursday 2nd November at King George’s Hall. With a move to a more sustainable event, the decision was made to move away from balloons and glitter and look for something that would be more environmentally friendly.

Blackburn Central High students’ initial response to Miss Ronga’s idea was “are you, mad miss??” However they worked together and went onto create a wonderful “Tree of Life” that blew the judges away, the Students were extremely resourceful, using an old display board for the base of their tree, donated paint, the ends of plastic drinks bottles to create flowers, old cereal boxes to create leaves, the final masterpiece was a delight.

We are super proud of a group of our students after winning the SMILE award at the Community CVS volunteer awards. They won after creating an amazing table centrepiece, which they entitled the ‘Tree of Life’. Both students and staff attended the awards ceremony last week, where they accepted their award.

Natalie Ronga, Blackburn Central High School

In partnership with Community CVS, we had a real push to reduce the environmental impact of this year’s awards event. The centrepieces created by students from Blackburn Central High School were not only visually attractive, but gave a strong message about how our young people are committed to a more sustainable future.

Coun Phil Riley, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council

The amount of time, skill, imagination (& patience) required to create a wonderful ‘centre piece’ using recycled materials certainly proved to be a worthy winner and well deserved! – I and others were very impressed and thought it was amazing……………………WELL DONE!

Madam Deputy Mayor Councillor Sylvia Liddle

The Runners up Patricia Panagachi and Mustafa Erkan, both from Witton Park High School also made the judging very difficult for the panel.

Patricia produced a beautiful swan made from recycled plastic cutlery. Patricia had been inspired by the swans she had seen in a local park.

Mustafa focused on agriculture within Lancashire and produced the well known “Lonk” sheep out of old books from the school library.

I was really proud to attend the Community Volunteer Awards evening at King George’s Hall it was a spectacular event with some very well-deserved nominees, finalists and winners with a centrepiece which looked fabulous and was a creative and imaginative use for recycling.

Claire Richardson Director of Health and Care Integration

From Pleckgate School we received a number of entries: –

Group 1: Giant penguin

Umair Muhammad, Jay Jaswant Areeb Khan & Yusra Bhuta – Year 8

“Our giant penguin is made from cardboard boxes and painted to depict an emperor penguin which is at risk of extinction.”

Group 2: Coral rock

Zain Chokhandiwala & Adam Sheth – Year 10

“Our coral is made from tissue paper and pasta tubes to give a realistic design for the centrepiece. We kept the main body dark to fit your colour scheme but it helped make the colours to show more vibrantly.”

Group 3: Flower/mushroom & bee

Juwairiyah Jalgaonkar, Maryam Adeel, Zainab Saiyed & Iqraa Dalvi – Year 9

“Our design is made from cardboard, tinfoil and plastic bottles. We are especially proud to use the plastic buttons from old garments.”

Group 4: Polar/grassland

Asiya Patel, Aiman Akhtar, Aisha Moosa, Amna Sumra, Adan Mir & Maisha Chowdhry – Year 10

Our project is half polar half grassland. We have included the animal’s penguin and a zebra and we were inspired to create 2 types of settings to compare the differences between the two.

Group 5: Butterfly

Naeema Khan, Asifa Siddiqa, Sohail Hussain, Aayan Choudhry, Raihaanah Hussain, Aleeza Ahmed & Sufyan Mohamed – Year 10

Our creation is 3 butterflies, 2 small and 1 large, all on a tree branch on top of a garden base with colourful flowers. The colour theme is Autumn colours with translucent wings.

Group 6: Snake

Natasha Yaqoob & Jannath Miah – Year 9

The snake’s body is made of plastic bottles and covered with paper napkins as the skin. The golden eggs at the base are made from paper packaging and covered in tissue paper.

Group 7: Turtles

Husain Syed, Samiullah Gul & Aadam Umar – Year 7

Built on a Flash box our turtle are made from the ends of plastic bottles as shells and cereal boxes for their bodies. They are coming onto the sand to lay their eggs.

Group 8: Coral Reef

Hadia Iqbal Manzoor, Manha Fatima Hussain, Tayyaba Imran, Hadia Iftikhar & Salma Abdelrehman – Year 9

It is corals made of paper tissue or cardboard and a bottle portrayed as a tower. It is meant to unify land and water as the corals have a trunk like a tree but they are still a water organism. The corals are attached to a silver bottle, it is eye catching and more realistic to the ocean as they are usually colourful.

We also received wonderful entrees from three local primary Schools: –

Belthorn Academy

Lower Darwen Primary School

Intack Primary School

The Community Volunteer Awards will be held on Thursday 7th November 2024 – if you or your school/community group would like to get involved with the SMILE awards 2024 please contact Donna Talbot @ Community CVS: –