Youngsters at a Dorchester primary school are celebrating being environmental heroes.

The children of Damers First School were named regional winners in the Better Energy School Awards.

Their projects ‘Spick ‘n’ Span’ and ‘Making Our School and Community Plastic Free’ were jointly named as the best entries received in the ‘totally active’ award category from schools across Wales and western England.

The Better Energy School Awards is a nationwide competition for five to 11-year-olds, which is run by the Young People’s Trust for the Environment (YPTE) in partnership with Total. The competition, which aims to generate interest in the environment and raise awareness of the need for sustainable energy sources, has received entries from almost 275,000 children since it began in 2007.

The children showed their skills as eco entrepreneurs by designing their own multipurpose environmentally-friendly cleaning product called Spick 'n' Span. They designed their own logo, did their own market research, designed posters, promoted their product on the radio, made the products and ran stalls at several events. They also did a Dragon’s Den type pitch to local businesses and signed up 6 businesses to sell their product. This was a fantastic achievement - the fact that Spick 'n' Span is an environmentally friendly product using only natural ingredients, and even biodegradable packaging, is really impressive. The children learned about running their own business, working as a team, using money, making a profit and achieving a target.

Not content with this, they have also been working hard to become a plastic-free school and encouraging local businesses in their community to do the same. Twenty businesses have already signed their pledge to avoid using single-use plastics.

The children were presented with a cheque for £500 to recognise their achievements by Peter Littlewood, Director of the Young People’s Trust for the Environment and Phil Kluver from Total Gas & Power.

Praising their efforts, Mr Littlewood said “It’s amazing how much of an impact these young people have had on their environment. They have learned about some of the problems we face and set about finding solutions and putting them into practice. They should give us all hope for the future.”

The Better Energy School Awards competition will run again in 2017-18. For details on how to enter or to see details of previous winners, visit