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The University of Southampton
Sustainability Action

2016 Student Staff Team Award

The Biggest Tree and Social Enterprise Challenge Teams
The Biggest Tree and Social Enterprise Challenge Teams

Joint Winners of the Outstanding Student and Staff teams award: Biggest Tree

Group members: Annie Wilkes, Zoe Goodwin, Pathik Pathak, Josie Francis

Biggest Tree aims to tackle food waste – one of the biggest preventable environmental issues. In the UK alone over 15 million tonnes of food is thrown away every year. 50% of this is preventable leaks in the supply chain, from aesthetic regulations for farmers, to arbitrary sell-by dates that see perfectly edible food going to landfill. Due to its short life-span, fresh fruit is hard to store and process, and is therefore unsuitable to go to foodbank, making it one of the main foodstuffs that ends up in landfill. By partnering with Waitrose Biggest Tree are addressing this by dehydrating their surplus fruit, turning it into a healthy fruit snack that can be sold. A big part of the project is to raise awareness of the problem of food waste and encourage a more conscious attitude towards food consumption.

Joint Winners of the Outstanding Student and Staff teams award: The Social Enterprise Challenge

Group members: Pathik Pathak, Josie Francis, Jack Covey, Rosie Davis, Nikki Hawkes

The Social Enterprise Challenge is a social impact competition for students across the University. Hosted by the Social Impact Lab and Enactus Southampton, the challenge uses a hackathon style format to identify and support the development of new social and environmental projects in the local area. Participating students are taken through a series of workshops, mentoring and pitching to help turn their ideas into real ventures. The best ideas are then offered a place in the Enactus Southampton project innovation incubator, where the students receive further support and mentorship. The challenge has been developed to both improve lie in the local community and train a new generation of social entrepreneurs. As a result of the first challenge, one student project has secured venture support. This project, called ‘Pop up’ aims to use pop up style events to improve community relations, celebrate diversity and encourage a more positive use of waste space.

Runner-up of the Outstanding Student and Staff teams award: BioBlitz

Group members: Marcus Grace, Malcolm Hudson, Judith Lock, Paul Smith, Jack Snaddon, Martin Wyss, Ellie Cawthera and 49 student volunteers over the last two years.

In 2014 the team organised the first ever Southampton ‘Bioblitz’ events on the University’s Highfield campus and adjacent area of Southampton Common. Over a 24-hour period, the team organised a series of wildlife surveys and nature events, with the overall aims of getting people from both outside and inside the university involved and discovering more about our local biodiversity. Following this success, the event was held again in 2015. Each BioBlitz attracted over 100 members of the public who could take part in natural history exercises led by experts, including bat, bird and bug walks, and plant surveys. In 2014, 227 different species were identified; this increased to 257 in 2015. Undergraduate and postgraduate students took BioBlitz 2015 offsite, visiting 7 local schools and engaging around 350 school students with wildlife within their school grounds. In 2015, the BioBLitz was covered on BBC Radio Solent, engaging the local community beyond those able to attend on the day itself.

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