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6th Jul, 2022

Awards a fitting tribute to late environmentalist John Turner

A POWERFUL message from a young environmentalist received the first ever award created in memory of a fellow eco-warrior.

Marley from Thomas Jolyffe school in Stratford, won the John Turner prize for her stop motion video which urges viewers to ‘save our seas’.

The awards were launched this year to commemorate John – who founded an offshoot of the Rubbish Friends litter-picking group in Tiddington – and who died from cancer last September after a ten year battle with the disease.

The awards – organised by Rubbish Friends – encouraged youngsters passionate about the environment to create a piece of work based around themes including recycling, caring for wildlife and oceans, plastic pollution and reducing litter.

In her short film ‘Marley’s Urgent Message’ on YouTube, ten-year-old Marley, demonstrates how plastic waste impacts life in the ocean.

John’s wife Sam, who helped organise the event with their children Jake and Emily, said: “John was extremely passionate about caring for our environment and our community, and the award is a lovely way to continue his legacy.

“The children’s entries are simply wonderful – from posters to 3D models, poems to videos, they are so thought provoking and powerful. John would have been very proud of them all.”

While Marley was the overall winner, Oscar – from Alveston Primary School – won the youngest entrant category with his model of a seagull, with an important message about seabirds ingesting plastic, while a mini garden complete with a bug house and a welly full of basil created by Welcombe Hills School, won the school category.

Rubbish Friends founder Becky Reynolds said: “We had hundreds of entries from groups across the district. Whittling them down to six finalists from each group was no easy task. They were all absolutely outstanding. Choosing the three winners was not easy for the judging panel who deliberated for two and a half hours.

“The messages that they portrayed were very powerful and every entrant should be incredibly proud of their work. These young people are clearly passionate about caring for the environment and we applaud them all.”

Search Marley’s Urgent Message on YouTube to view her winning entry and search Rubbish Friends on Facebook for more details of the organisation.

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