Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 12.18.00Colourful thinking by a team of children from a North Tyneside primary school has seen them come out on top in a region-wide competition.
 
The team from Shiremoor Primary School competed against schools from right across the North East in Newcastle Building Society’s fourth annual Boardroom Charity Challenge, which asked its nine and ten year-old participants to develop business ideas that focus on benefiting their local community while also making a profit.
The eight-strong Shiremoor team won their way into the competition’s final with their idea for a Kaleidoscope Fun Run Event that would be held in the Rising Sun Country Park, with the money they would raise by staging the event going to St Oswald’s Hospice.
And their presentation in the Newcastle’s boardroom so impressed the panel of senior business figures in front of whom they spoke at the final that the team was named as winners of the whole competition, picking up a prize of £1,000 to help them put their ideas into practice.
Since then, the team has presented their ideas in front of the whole school in a special assembly, and plans are beginning to be put in place to stage the colour fun run in the autumn, with the nearby Holystone and Backworth Park Primary Schools being invited to get involved too.
The Boardroom Charity Challenge is a continuation of an ongoing financial education programme developed by the Newcastle which, over the last five years, has helped more than 1,500 children in schools across its heartland area learn more about managing money and becoming more financially independent.
It forms part of a six-week long curriculum based learning package that teaches core numeracy and literacy skills, and is an extension of the Society’s wider ‘Cornerstone of the Community’ campaign through which individual branches provide direct support to organisations and good causes in their local areas.
Teaching assistant Sally Clarke, who worked alongside assistant head teacher Leigh Elsaghier in supporting the Shiremoor team’s participation in the competition, says: “The team put a lot of work into both developing their idea for the Kaleidoscope Fun Run, and practising their presentation to make it as polished as they possibly could.
“Walking into the Newcastle’s boardroom and standing in front of the judges was quite a daunting experience to begin with, but the atmosphere was really welcoming, the team’s enthusiasm for their idea really shone through and they conducted themselves fantastically.
“When the team’s name was called out, everyone was absolutely speechless – it’s a brilliant achievement for everyone involved, and there’s already lots of excitement about putting the event on later in the year.”
Natalie Falkous, head of corporate social responsibility at Newcastle Building Society, says: “The standard of our Boardroom Charity Challenge finalists was quite amazing, and a huge amount of thought, research and creativity has clearly gone into every team’s entry.
“The Shiremoor team gave a terrific presentation – they thoroughly deserved their success, and we’re looking forward to seeing their event taking place in the autumn.
“Developing the skills and knowledge you need to look after their own finances is something we believe don’t believe you can start learning about early enough, and our Boardroom Charity Challenge gives us a wonderful opportunity every year to share our expertise in this area with hundreds of children across the North East.”