Children in Coventry have received a global award and drawn praise from their local MP for making a difference to the planet and those in need. 

Pupils at St John Fisher Catholic Primary School, part of the Romero Catholic Academy, were joined by Colleen Fletcher MP and guests from a host of charities as they received the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) LiveSimply Award for their community and environmental projects.

Collaborators including Myton Hospice, Coventry Food Bank Halo Centre, St Vincent de Paul Society, Coventry Heart of England Co-Op, Team Recycle and Langar Aid attended a special assembly at the school on Kineton Road, Wyken, to hear about pupils’ work over the last 18 months, alongside Rev Sebastian Namattathil (Parish Priest of St John Fisher) and Jane Lavery, CAFOD assessor for the LiveSimply Award.

Initiatives included a recycling project with Team Recycle, with the school community donating milk cartons and bottle tops which led to the creation of 18,000 plastic medals for the 2023 Oslo Marathon. 

The school also worked alongside the likes of Coventry Food Bank and Langar Aid, which supports people facing homelessness and poverty, gathering 15 crates of food donations, creating meal boxes and visiting their headquarters to learn about how to support people in the community.

The pupils also wrote more than 100 emails and letters to their MP, Colleen Fletcher, prior to COP28, which led her to raise their concerns around climate change affecting the poorest countries with the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Claire Coutinho MP.

To support these projects, children in KS2 created the school’s first Eco Club, responding to Pope Francis’s call for all people to work towards a more sustainable world.

The CAFOD LiveSimply Award recognises Catholic schools and parishes across the world who follow the Pope’s aim by protecting the earth and standing in solidarity with local and global communities.

Colleen Fletcher, MP for Coventry North East, said: “It was truly inspiring to see all the work and passion that had gone into earning the LiveSimply Award. I am really pleased to see how engaged all the pupils are with the issues both across the world and here in the UK. 

“From the letters I received and all the activities I know they have taken part in, I can tell how seriously all the pupils have taken the goals and values of the award. I am sure that all of the pupils will continue to be engaged and passionate about the positive difference they can make in the world.”

Pauline Finn, Vice Principal at St John Fisher Catholic Primary School, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive this award and bring together so many special guests who the pupils have worked with other the last year and a half. 

“To have this opportunity to celebrate their achievements has been fantastic. We are incredibly proud of our pupils for the work they have done, and grateful for the support we’ve had from some inspiring organisations.”

Jane Lavery of CAFOD said: “The effort the children have put into their LiveSimply work has been brilliant. 

“I’ve been so impressed hearing about the variety of projects they have done and their enthusiasm to get involved, but the biggest thing is they will continue – and these memories will stay with them forever.”

Find out more about LiveSimply