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A multiple-choice game designed to make people think about what choices they may have ahead of them was the winner at this year’s County Schools Challenge Grand Final.
Last night (July 4), young people from eight secondary schools across Northamptonshire presented their social enterprise idea on this year’s theme of gangs and criminal exploitation to a ‘Dragons’ Den’ style panel of judges at the Castle Theatre in Wellingborough.
Earlier this year, all secondary schools in the county were given the challenge of coming up with entrepreneurial ideas which could help identify young people who were vulnerable to gang criminal exploitation and design strategies to keep them safe.
The schools that competed in the Grand Final were:
The discerning panel of “dragons” consisted of Chief Constable Nick Adderley, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Assistant Chief Fire Officer - Rob Porter, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner - Stephen Mold, and Assistant Director of Housing and Communities at North Northamptonshire Council - Kerry Purnell.
It was a tough decision but the panel determined the winners to be Northampton School for Girls who came up with a multiple choice game available on the app store where you choose a character and play through a story making choices along the way with integrated messages and advice about gangs and criminal exploitation. The options you choose determine the outcome of the story and whether or not you end up as a gang member.
This year’s winning team walked away with £2000 funding from the OPFCC to help make their idea become a reality.
The first Northamptonshire County Schools Challenge was launched in 2009. That year, the competition was won by a team from Weavers School in Wellingborough, who designed an educational DVD and bin sticker to help combat wheelie bin arson in the area. To date, there has been a 60 per cent reduction in wheelie bin fires and the products have been used internationally, with the film shown in Europe, Australia and America.
Prevention Manager at Northamptonshire Police - Laura Jones, said: “The County Schools Challenge is not only a great opportunity for young people to present their ideas but it is such a fantastic opportunity for us to listen to the strategies and plans that they come up with.
“They come up with solutions and products that we would never think of and these perspectives continue to prove invaluable, even 11 years on from the first one in 2009.”
Chief Constable Nick Adderley, said: “These young people are the future and all eight teams should be really proud of themselves for their performances last night.
“It was a difficult decision for the panel and my congratulations goes to Northampton School for Girls for their winning idea.
“I’d also like to thank the schools involved and the parents, teachers and volunteers who put a lot of time and effort into making this event happen.”