Young fundraisers from a Tyneside school have come out on top in a boardroom battle with dozens of their peers from right across the region.
 
A team from Throckley Primary School has been named as winners of the sixth annual Newcastle Building Society Boardroom Charity Challenge, a financial education programme which asks its young participants to develop business ideas that focus on benefiting their local community while also making a profit.
 
Seven schools from across the North East sent teams into the Society’s boardroom to present their ideas to a panel of judges including the Lord Mayor of Newcastle Councillor Linda Wright, Andrew Haigh, Newcastle Building Society’s chief executive, and the commercial director of NewsQuest North East, Ryan Fenwick.
 
The Throckley team, which was made up of Tia Jones, Kadin Lewis-Mahoney, Sam Foster, Devon Mills and Grace Anderson, took the £1,000 top prize for their idea of hosting a carnival to raise money for the Batten Disease Family Association.
 
The charity was chosen in support of a family in the school that is affected by Batten Disease, which is a fatal, inherited disorder of the nervous system, and the school is now starting to make plans for holding the event next summer.
 
Julie Stuart, head teacher at Throckley Primary School, says: “The children really jumped in with both feet on this project, and spent a lot of time sharing their ideas, talking about which ones would work best and creating a really detailed and thought-out presentation which came across very well on the day.
 
“They got so much out of taking part in the Boardroom Charity Challenge, and even if they hadn’t won, the way it has helped them improve their communications and team-working skills would have made it more than worthwhile.
 
“The children were absolutely ecstatic and totally overwhelmed when the school’s name was chosen as the winner of the competition, and it’s going to be fantastic to see all their plans come to life in the name of this wonderful cause next year.”
 
The Boardroom Charity Challenge is an ongoing financial education programme developed by Newcastle Building Society which aims to help young people learn about becoming more financially independent.
 
More than 2,000 young people from schools right across the region have so far taken part in the scheme, which forms part of a six-week long curriculum based learning package that teaches core numeracy and literacy skills, enables pupils to learn more about how to manage money and helps them develop their IT and presentation skills.
 
The Boardroom Charity Challenge is an extension of the Society’s wider financial education commitment, which sees it providing free seminars to Society members who want to learn more about how to manage their money.
 
Andrew Haigh, chief executive at Newcastle Building Society, adds: “The energy, hard work and dedication that all the participating schools put into meeting our Challenge every year is outstanding, and choosing a winner is an extremely difficult task for the judging panel.
 
“All the schools brought us a wonderful array of creative fundraising ideas this year, any of which would have been a worthy winner, but the Throckley pupils’ excellent presentation of their detailed plans for how they would use the competition prize to raise even more money for their chosen good cause gave them the edge.
 
“We believe that it’s never too early to start learning about how to look after your money, and we hope the information we’ve been able to share through the Boardroom Charity Challenge will benefit everyone who’s taken part in the years to come.”