“How will you get to school?” is the title of a new guide by Brightkidz social enterprise to help make the school run more active, safe and sustainable and reduce car dependency. It’s part of a project which engages not just schools but businesses and the wider community in promoting active travel for children.
By using more sustainable modes of travel for their daily journeys – walking, cycling, scooting or using public transport – children gain so many benefits in terms of health, social skills and independence. The whole community benefits in terms of reducing traffic dangers, congestion, co2 emissions and improving air quality. This guide and other resources by Brightkidz enable parents, schools and their communities to promote active travel in different ways.
The guide was produced in collaboration with schools taking part in the Brightkidz ST:EPS project – Safe Travel: Enabling Pupils and Schools – which has been trialled over the last year with schools in Kettering, Northamptonshire. It was supported by Central England Cooperative Community Fund and other community partners and is free to download from the Brightkidz website.
The Brightkidz ST:EPS project links schools to the resources they need to promote active travel. This involves directing them to existing, often free, resources they may not know about and creating new resources to fill the gaps. Key to this is linking schools to the business community to enable collaborations and support – businesses also benefit from this engagement with their local schools. All schools taking part are guided towards achieving the DfT-backed STARS school travel accreditation award which acts as a framework for measuring the impact of the activities undertaken.
The success of the ST:EPs pilot has led to Brightkidz expanding the scheme both locally and further afield. Although originally designed for primary schools, one secondary was included in the pilot. Success with this older age group provided the motivation to develop a second pilot with an ‘older’ name – Brightwayz ST:EPS. Thanks to funding from the Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner this will be trialed with another three secondary schools and then hopefully further afield.
Brightkidz is listed in the NatWest SE100 index, is a long-standing member of Social Enterprise UK and has been working in the sustainable everyday travel sector for over 15 years. They are particularly keen to collaborate with corporates to develop further projects.
Brightkidz promotes safe, active, sustainable everyday travel for children through a wide offering of related projects, products and information. Brightkidz is a trading name of Safe Kids Walking Ltd, a company limited by guarantee without share capital and a common ownership co-operative. The organisation is part-funded through sales of their general promotional items range www.brandmythingy.com as well as their active travel promotion products range www.brightkidz.co.uk