School’s Out – Looking Back at the Year with Brightkidz
School’s out for summer! Here at Brightkidz we’re taking a look at what we’ve done together with you – our customers and partners – to promote active travel over the last year. And we’ll take a peek at what’s planned for the year ahead.
But first, let’s head back to last August.
August was festival season and we joined other co-ops at the Greenbelt festival where we were all promoting ‘business for good’… as well as having an info stand with tips on school run solutions and road safety, we gave walking buses a mention in our presentations.
It was ‘back to school’ in September and a busy time making sure our range of over 300 different stock products was ready for you – including new ‘scoot packs’ to help you promote scooting to school.
Lots of our customers were able to beat the autumn rush by getting in touch with us in August or early September to get their orders sorted; a good tip, especially if you are having custom-printed products from us!
October was International Walk to School Month and the perfect time to publish our ’10 reasons to walk to school’ series through social media to inspire others to walk the school run.
Also in October we started working with mental health charity Teamwork Trust whose members gain paid work experience and support, for example by packing and clipping our reflectors. Social Saturday 2017 which was organised by Social Enterprise UK was a good opportunity to promote our new partnership.
With the darker evenings approaching we published new ‘be safe be seen’ information such as our ‘Wear it Well’ blog about making the most of your high vis waistcoats and ‘How Reflectors are Made’ for a behind-the-scenes view.
It was great to get out and about and meet so many of you in November.
At the Modeshift conference for school travel professionals we sponsored and presented an award to Bath and NE Somerset Council for their Bike Kitchen project.
We also loved meeting so many pupils and teachers and celebrating their successes in promoting active travel at three Modeshift STARS regional awards events in Leeds, London and Swindon.
For Road Safety Week around 170 primary school pupils took part in one of five workshops we ran with three local schools – inspiring lots of creative, bright ideas and great feedback afterwards.
In December we started a collaboration with Next plc supporting their Travel2Next inititiative promoting active travel choices and road safety to staff. Their (Modeshift STARSfor) award-winning workplace travel plan is inspiration for all businesses and we enjoy ideas-sharing and supporting each others schemes.
For the third year running we helped support Croydon Council’s Brighten Your Bag competition to promote road safety in a creative way to pupils in the borough. Winners were announced in January and pupils were presented with prizes from Brightkidz (funded by Croydon Council).
Do you care about clean air? We do – which is why we helped support Lewisham Council’s Clean Air Workshop for pupils from 18 schools in the borough.
We developed and ran some activities around promoting walking, cycling and scooting to school for pupils to take part in, such as this ‘Way to Go’ vote for the scheme they would most like introduced at their school (winner was ‘take part in International Walk to School Week’). Our blog and post-event promotion on social media meant other local authorities could easily use ideas from the day for their own Clean Air day events.
Thank you for all your orders over the whole year! We were particularly rushed off our feet in March working with our customers to organise and deliver everything. All our products help you promote safe, active travel and we pride ourselves on being specialists in this sector and providing the best quality, professional service. But we are not a ‘normal’ business. As a social enterprise all profits are ploughed back and we use income from sales to support most of our project work. So thank you again for all your support.
Another of our aims is to promote social enterprise as a good way of doing business. In January and March we made presentations to help raise awareness about this (and the work of fellow social enterprise Teamwork Trust) for local authority school travel profesionals from across the Midlands and North East regions.
With spring in the air cycling was on the agenda. We sponsored and supported Sustrans’ Big Pedal event – an inter-school competition across the UK to promote cycling and scooting to school which ran from the end of April into May.
We love collaborating with other organistions who have similar aims and were happy to publish features or guest blogs about many other organisations over the year. With UK spring Walk to School Week a major feature of the calender in late May, it was ideal to publish a guest blog from UK charity Living Streets on their new walk-to-preschool campaign Little Feet.
Great news! We heard in June we had won funding from Central England Co-operative to support our new project for the next school year; ST:EPS – Safer Travel: Enabling Primary Schools in Kettering. The project aims to inform, inspire and enable schools to promote active travel and road safety by supporting them to achieve Modeshift STARS National School Travel Awards bronze level accreditation.
When a local special needs secondary school approached us for research advice with their entry for a road safety competition we were happy to help and get involved. We were pleased to hear the school, Isebrook SEN college, was successful. They came second in the competition – The County Challenge – which was run by the Northamptonshire Police. Congratulations guys!
The Year Ahead
Look out for our new website when we launch it in early September. It will be full of ideas and inspiration to help you with your active travel campaigns for the year ahead… and a lot easier for you to find your way around.