Students from five secondary schools attended training in Mallow today to become Green-Schools Water Ambassadors. The training workshops, attended by 16 students from schools in Kerry, Cork and Limerick, focused on providing students with the skills necessary to spread the message of water awareness in their communities.

The workshop was organised and facilitated at Springfort Hall Hotel by An Taisce’s Green-Schools programme, in partnership with Irish Water. The morning session saw talks from Green-Schools; Irish Water and Clean Coasts on topics including: the Water theme; communication techniques; water and wastewater treatment; and the impacts of marine litter. In the afternoon students went to Carrigrenan Wastewater Treatment Plant for a tour followed by a discussion and feedback session.

Today’s workshop is the first event in this second year of the Ambassador Programme; two more workshops are planned in Athlone and Dublin. Students will now work on an awareness campaign in their communities, helped by a support session from Green-Schools in the new year, concluding with a report on their work due in April 2016. Regional ambassadors will be chosen following submission of reports, and awarded at a ceremony in May 2017.

Praising the ambassadors, Green-Schools Manager Cathy Baxter said: “The students here today have shown real determination and ambition in putting themselves forward to be Ambassadors in their schools and communities. We’re very excited to be holding these events for a second year; last year’s group really drove the message of water conservation home with their work – we can’t wait to see what this year’s group gets up to!”

Speaking at the event, Aisling Buckley, Regional Information Specialist at Irish Water said, “Irish Water views the Ambassador Programme as one of the highlights of its Green -Schools Water Theme sponsorship. The programme empowers young people to pass on their knowledge of water conservation, and the importance of this vital natural resource, to their fellow students and members of their local communities. It also presents a great opportunity to talk to secondary school students about all the processes involved in water and wastewater treatment and the different career opportunities that exist in the water sector.”

Water is the third theme of the Green-Schools programme. The theme focuses on increasing awareness of water use, scarcity and pollution in schools and the wider community. In addition to the Ambassador Programme schools participating in the theme are invited to participate in the Green-Schools Irish Water Poster Competition; attend 20 Water Forums taking place this year; and contend to be awarded the title of Water School of the Year 2017. The Green-Schools Water theme is supported by Irish Water.

Schools attending the workshop today were:

  • Castleisland Community College, Castleisland, Kerry
  • Presentation Secondary School  Tralee, Kerry
  • St Colmans Community CollegeMidleton, Cork
  • John the Baptist Community School, Bruff, Limerick
  • Scoil Mhuire gan Smal, Blarney, Cork