In a wonderful culmination of the Big Walk and Wheel competition, St Anne's students were treated to an inspiring visit to Schwalbe, the sponsors of the 2023 event. The visit provided an insightful peek into the world of a global business committed to sustainability and left the students with lasting memories.
St Anne’s students posing with Schwalbe staff at their head office in Telford. Credit: Ray, Sustrans
A prize for their sustainability campaign
St Anne's secured this unique opportunity by winning Sustrans Big Walk and Wheel Schwalbe Secondary school air quality campaign challenge, showcasing their dedication to sustainable practices.
As part of their prize, they had the chance to visit Schwalbe's head office in Telford, adding an interesting layer to the adventure.
Preparing for the adventure and building excitement
Ray Craig, the Southampton Bike It officer, played a key role in preparing the students for their visit.
He organised quizzes and meetings to familiarise them with Schwalbe, in anticipation to the upcoming experience.
The visit unveiled
The students, welcomed as VIPs, began their day with a warm reception before diving into a boardroom meeting with the Schwalbe management team.
St Anne’s students presenting their video on sustainability at the Schwalbe boardroom. Credit: Ray, Sustrans
The students showcased a video they created, provoking discussions on initiatives to build sustainable and active travel at St Anne's.
A day of discovery
After a tasty lunch, the Schwalbe team took them on a tour of the facilities and offices.
The tour encompassed the warehouse, where the students spotted iconic tyre names, and outdoor areas undergoing rewilding for wildlife habitats.
Schwalbe's commitment to sustainability was not only discussed but vividly demonstrated, leaving a lasting impact on the students.
Dave Taylor, Managing Director of Schwalbe, provided valuable insights for the students, offering tips on standing out in job applications and interviews.
The students were also generously gifted with boxes containing Schwalbe products.
The winners, upon completing the facility tour, expressed their enthusiasm and a sense of achievement.
St Anne’s students toured the Schwalbe warehouse and spotted some of Schwalbe's iconic tire names. Photo credit: Ray, Sustrans
Feeling inspired, the students left with plans to implement similar four pillars of sustainability at St Anne's, and enhance their school community.
The impact of our corporate partnership on students’ education
Reflecting on a memorable visit, our aim, at Sustrans, is to spotlight the positive impact of our corporate partnership with Schwalbe on students' education, underscoring the importance of such experiences for their future development.
The impact goes beyond the physical tour, these experiences play a pivotal role in guiding students toward well-informed decisions about their futures.
For the students, this was more than a fantastic opportunity, it was a window into how businesses address sustainability in their operations.
For Schwalbe, it was an opportunity to shape and pass on their values to future generations.
As Tim Ward, Marketing Manager at Schwalbe UK said:
"This was a unique experience for us, hosting a school group visit to our warehouse and office facilities.
"It was a pleasure to welcome them, given their victory in the Schwalbe and Sustrans Big Walk and Wheel Schools Air Quality Campaign Challenge.
I was very heartened by the level of understanding they showed when presenting their own project around monitoring the air quality in the local environs of their school.
"They clearly felt that sustainable local transport solutions should be the aspirational goal everyone should be aiming for.
"It was a great experience for all concerned and we very much look forward to hosting inspiring students from other schools in the future."
Help us create a sustainable future
Our vision is clear, to inspire more students to create a sustainable tomorrow through education, commitment, and collaboration with like-minded organisations.