And the winners are…

July 12, 2023
The Big Ideas Competition 2023 National Final took place at the Palace of Westminster on 5th July and it was a day to remember!

We were joined by 50 students from 12 schools, plus representatives from our brilliant Business Partners, judges, teachers and MPs to listen to our National Finalists take to the stage one last time and present their amazing Big Ideas.

The day started at Westminster Hall where the students were treated to a tour of Westminster, before heading to Portcullis House for the main event.

Once there, we heard from all 12 National Finalists from across the country. From robotic sealife that collects plastic in the ocean, to recycling apps, CO2-collecting cars and inclusive sporting events, the creativity and innovation the students showed in finding a ‘Solution for the Planet’ was completely inspirational.

They were listened to avidly by our panel of judges, made up of representatives from STEM industries, sustainability, entrepreneurship and our young person judges.


One of the benefits of hosting the event at the Houses of Parliament is that we are able to be joined by Members of Parliament throughout the day who come to meet and listen to the presentations of the teams from their constituency. This year, we were thrilled to welcome 7 MPs who were all very impressed with the Big Ideas of the teams they were supporting.

We were hosted by MP Hilary Benn

MP Yvette Cooper with The Emission Eliminators from Outwood Academy Freeston

MP Liam Byrne with Eco Light from Eden Girls’ Leadership Academy

MP Jacob Young with The Litter Builders from Outwood Academy Redcar

MP Sir Stephen Timms with Hydrobus from Plashet School

MP Pat McFadden with H2Reused from Colton Hills Community School

MP Jane Hunt with Eco Cycle from Woodbrook Vale School

After all the teams had presented, the judges then had the difficult decision of deciding who would be crowned our Big Ideas Competition 2023 winners.

Whilst they were making the important decision, our teams had a chance to network with the representatives attending from our Business Partners (Tarmac, Northern Gas Networks, Cadent, Kongsberg Automotive, Linkcity and IM Properties) as well as celebrate with the mentors who have supported them throughout the programme.

This year, the winners were treated to an extra special prize from our product parter, BIC, who presented them each with a RocketBook.

Our Big Ideas Competition 2023 Winners

1st Place

Oaks Park High School

SoftSleeps’ Big Idea was a service creating sleeping bags made out of recycled plastic waste to support the homeless. They were entered into the National Final as a Wild Card Entry!

2nd Place

Plashet School

Hydrobus’ Big Idea was a bus using hydroelectricity generated from mini power plants operated by the team and local communities.

3rd Place

Red Ribbon
Gladesmore Community School

Red Ribbon’s Big Idea was an organisation raising awareness on gender and LGBTQ+ issues, facilitating support groups and manufacturing organic and affordable period products.

The judges also gave a Special Commendation to Eco-Cycle from Woodbrook Vale School, whose Big Idea was an app with a recycling-based competition and that shows what can and cannot be recycled, and where the nearest recycling point is.

We also give out 2 special awards at the National Final, which are separate to the Winner and Runners Up.  They are: the Barker Award, which is awarded to one of the teams on the day for their presentation and passion; and the Schofield Award, which is decided before the day.

Schofield Award

We created the Schofield Award in memory of the incredible Chair of our Board, mentor and friend Kevin Schofield, who was a firm believer in radiating positivity to the world, getting stuck in with all your heart and the power of proactivity and collaboration.  The Schofield Award is for a team that embodies the very spirit of Solutions for the Planet.

This year it was awarded to:

Welcome Aboard

Stewards Academy

Barker Award

We created the Barker Award in memory of one of our founding members, Elaine Barker, who remained a huge advocate of what we do and was full of passion for young people and empowering youth voice.  The Barker Award is for the team that impresses the judges with their passion in their presentation on the day. 

This year it was awarded to:

Stewards Academy
Huge congratulations to all the teams who presented at the National Final. We had a wonderful day and can’t wait to see how you keep developing your Big Ideas!
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