Shrewsbury School

Shrewsbury School pupils crowned global winners for supporting local refugees

Friday 29 June 2018

A group of pupils from Shrewsbury School were named at the Festival of Education 2018 as the winners of an international competition that asked young people to tackle the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in their local community.  

Under the Global Social Leaders initiative, the team of five Lower Sixth pupils have been working with a group of unaccompanied young refugees in Shrewsbury alongside Refugee Action, with the aim of helping them integrate into the local community. Inspired, driven and led entirely by the pupils, the project has seen the teenagers meet regularly to allow them to get to know each other better, playing regular football matches in mixed teams and going to Shrewsbury Town matches.  

Their project 'Refugee Help' beat other finalists to claim first prize, with the judges inspired by the way that they are “breaking boundaries and reaching across divides, based on compassion and understanding”.

 Jonathan Harper, CEO of Future Foundations, the organisation that runs the GSL initiative in collaboration with the Wellington Leadership Institute, was full of praise for the group. “The students have identified a clear need in our society, and at a time when it feels we are increasingly a disconnected society, they have created a project and implemented initiatives that help bring us closer together and give us hope for the future.  The students truly have been leaders in their local community, and I congratulate them and believe their project will inspire other schools and young people.” 

Toby Percival, the teacher who supports the group, said, “I couldn’t be more proud of what the students have achieved.  Their determination to make a difference is an inspiration for us all.  The team have big plans for the future and have plans to share the project with other schools.”

The judges said the following about the project; 

“I loved this project as it was inspired by personal experience and a desire to act in an effective as well as compassionate way. We need more projects like this in the world!” Cara Flowers, Global Coordinator, Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Network

“You started by asking what these kids wanted/needed, listening to their answers, and planning accordingly. You’d be surprised how rare that is. Please keep this going! This work is more important than you can imagine!” Dr Pamela Collins, Conservation International

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