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Highlander Open Day 2019

Highlander Open Day 2019

We recently hosted an open day in conjunction with Duncanrig Secondary School. We partnered up with the school last year to promote recycling to the next generation. On the day, there was a prize giving ceremony for pupils to celebrate their significant input with the recycling projects we have ran throughout the year. We also had speeches from some very special guests!

There were 3 projects that were ran throughout the year. Firstly, the students in 1st year were asked to come up with a design that could be put onto a recycling bin which the students can use in the school to recycle plastic bottles. The winning design was drawn by Aylabeth Funnell and we converted her design into an actual bin that will be installed in the school after the summer holidays.

Secondly, we asked the pupils in 1st year to design a sleeve for a reusable water bottle. We donated 307 bottles to the school to encourage the children to stop their use of one-use plastic bottles. The designs were shortlisted to 4 designs and the winning design will be printed to be used as a sleeve on the reusable bottles.

Thirdly, we asked the students to submit some artwork that depicts nature that we could display in our new reception area. The theme of our reception area is “indoor/outdoor” and it promotes our passion for saving the planet! We were blown away at the pictures that were submitted, and thankfully we didn’t have to judge them for ourselves. Our director Brian Bingham, was so impressed, he generously purchased all of the paintings from the students.

We invited Scottish artist Gerard Burns to attend which he kindly agreed to. Gerard was able to judge the artwork and award first, second and third prizes accordingly. Gerard also took the time with each student to discuss their artwork and provide praise and constructive feedback to help them with their future artwork. First prize was awarded to Jenna McGurn who won an amazing print from Gerard! Second and third prizes were won by Leah Perrie and Amy Cook who both won a cheque for £80. Gerard also gave an inspiring speech about how he became an artist.

Ingrid Boyd, deputy head teacher, played a major role in putting the day together and we are very grateful for the time she has spent. Ingrid introduced the teachers who helped support the students during their projects who also gave speeches – Thank you to Jill Sloway and Martin Young.

Our Company Director Brian Bingham hosted the event. Brian’s speech focused on the need and importance for partnerships in business and the community. Brian praised the hard work that Ingrid Boyd (Deputy Head) and her staff had made in the past six months and the fantastic results they had achieved. Duncanrig have set a goal to be the first school in Lanarkshire to achieve plastic free packaging, and eliminate all one use plastic bottles.

Brian also mention the link to Highlander and Duncanrig via the education of the students, not just for the benefit of the environment, but to assist on the integration from education to business. Highlander have been instrumental in creating placement for work experience and helping the students to understand the adjustment’s required from school to the work place. Next seasons Highlander plan to introduce mock interviews to help the students understand the need to present themselves properly when interviewed and the importance of preparing and saying the correct information to create a higher chance of landing their dream job.

Brian also took the opportunity to thank South Lanarkshire Council, Business Gateway and Scottish Enterprise for their assistance and partnership they have all shown to help Highlander being the successful company we are today. Thanks also went to Lisa Cameron, our local MP, Linda Fabiani our local MSP, and Gerard Burns for the time spent with the students and his generosity.

Brian finished his speech by thanking his wife Margaret for her support throughout the years and her assistance as Company Secretary as well as a supportive wife

Our local MP Dr Lisa Cameron kindly attended and gave a speech about Westminster’s take on the reduction of one use plastic bottles. Linda Fabiani MSP was also able to attend and gave a speech about the impact on local businesses partnering with local schools and the impact that this has on the local community. They both praised Highlander on our recycling efforts and confirmed that we have been long-listed for the APCRG’s (The All-Party Parliamentary Corporate Responsibility Group) National Responsible Business Champion Award 2019! We thank you both for your time to visit us.

We are also grateful for the support and attendance of Councillor John Anderson, Deputy Lieutenant Clare Gallagher and Ronnie Smith, chief executive of Lanarkshire Enterprise Services Ltd.

Everyone then enjoyed a delicious buffet where we also had some music from a student band called The Complainers. We even persuaded some teachers to play a few instruments too!

The day was then concluded with a tour of the factory, conducted by our director Stephen Duffy.

We would like to thank everyone for coming, we really appreciate you taking the time to visit! Keep your eyes peeled for the official video from the day which will be available soon…

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