DS Smith expands partnership with Risca Community Comprehensive School

DS Smith and Risca Community Comprehensive School have expanded their existing Business Class partnership with the launch of recycling efforts at the school.

David Price, Design Manager at DS Smith Packaging Crumlin, has been working with Risca Comprehensive for several years as part of the Business Class partnership facilitated by Careers Wales. From supporting the GCSE product design curriculum to running workshops and site visits, David’s efforts have enriched local pupils’ understanding of packaging, DS Smith, and the wider industry.

The Business Class programme, which is brokered by Careers Wales, matches up businesses and schools with a shared ethos, producing a partnership which is sustained over a minimum of 3 years. The main aim is to raise awareness of the world of work, and the wide range of career paths open to pupils. The programme also provides opportunities for staff professional development.

Lesley Smith from Careers Wales has supported the flourishing partnership between DS Smith Crumlin and Risca Community Comprehensive School. Throughout the year, the Crumlin site has run workshops which focus on the links between skills learned in school, and roles in the workplace.

“Over the years, we’ve run workshops and site visits, to show the bigger picture of packaging, build links in the community, and make these local students aware of the variety of job opportunities that might suit their skills,” said David.

To expand on this existing relationship, David wanted to bring DS Smith’s focus on Recycling, as well as health and safety, to Risca’s pupils. He presented the school with recycling bins of his own design, which are for use in classrooms and offices.

David worked with teams in DS Smith Packaging Neath and in Belper to produce the recycling boxes. From his design, Neath produced the bases, and Belper produced the lids. To complement the Packaging Division’s efforts, the Recycling Division sponsored the competition by providing the winners’ prizes.

It will be the responsibility of the school’s Year 7 pupils to ensure that the bins are correctly used and regularly emptied. To promote the project around the school, Year 7 pupils were invited to submit designs for recycling posters.

Charlotte Thorne, Arwen Oliver, and Amelia Fogden were presented with vouchers, a signed rugby ball, and tickets for a Cardiff Blues game during a special assembly.

John Kendall, Head Teacher of Risca Community Comprehensive School, said:

“This has been an excellent project. We all know the importance of recycling, none more so than our pupils themselves, but this particular project has made it very real as we have been working with a high profile company in this area, and this has really engaged the pupils’ interests. It’s also a sustainable project; we have deliberately started with Y7 as I know they will want to make sure we keep on recycling correctly as they move on up the school.”

The partnership is already looking to build on its current success, with plans to introduce recycling for plastic bottles and aluminium cans in 2018, through links with a local Newport company.

David Price said:

“This has been a great project for me, as it has showed great strength of our business, from the combination of Crumlin, Neath, and Belper with the design of the bins, to the link with Recycling providing the prizes. It has been a fantastic team effort. Recycling is a big part of our day-to-day lives, whether it’s school or business, and that’s why it was important to launch this project. A big thanks to the School for the entries and engagement from pupils and staff – let’s hope this continues with other products like plastics and cans!”

Lesley Smith, Business Engagement Adviser, Careers Wales said:

“It’s been a pleasure to work with Risca and DS Smith to deliver activities via the Business Class programme. The partnership is an excellent example of how organisations with a shared ethos can work together for their mutual benefit. The commitment which both parties have demonstrated towards the project has been clear for all to see.”