Photography by Spacesuit Media Ltd
As newly appointed Communications Partner of the Greenpower Education Trust, one of our first tasks was to select the winner of the brand-new SQN Social Media Award, to be announced at the Silverstone International Finals. It was an absolute honour, of course, but it certainly wasn’t easy.
We’ve been providing PR and communications services to Greenpower throughout 2019, so we’ve been following the teams closely. The SQN Social Media Award gave us a great excuse, as if any were needed, to have a look back at all of the teams’ social media coverage and to understand what Greenpower means to everyone involved.
There were plenty of worthy candidates, and lots of inspiring stories to tell, but it was the tale of some plucky Scottish young people that really grabbed our attention. Here’s the story of the Inver Racers in their own words…
Inver Racers: the race to Silverstone
So, it’s been a crazy journey for us.
When we won our first race at East Fortune we didn’t have time for a practice lap. It was the first time we had even sat in the car, and miraculously, we qualified for the International Finals at Silverstone! We had an amazing time racing and would love to be able to compete again.
Unfortunately, what we didn’t realise when we started was how much it would cost to attend these races. We needed to fundraise a lot of money to be able to take everyone involved to the race and watch our car in action.
The first thing we did was to set up social media pages for our team. Twitter is a great way of contacting local businesses, and along with this we set up our JustGiving page. This would allow people to find out what we were doing and hopefully donate some money.
Next, we started making short films to keep our followers up to date on our progress. Our team leaders hated public speaking, but even they did their part on-film to help raise awareness and get our name out there. Before we raced our car at Aberdeen, we even did car washes for our families and friends to raise money for food while we were there. It’s been a tough journey and living so far away from most of the events hasn’t been easy. But we have loved building our own car and having the opportunity to race it against other groups!
Our team leader, Chris, has been pushing for donations to the teams travel fund in every way possible. At our Aberdeen event, there was a breakfast meeting prior to racing where Chris stood up and pitched to a group of local businesses. It was that great, a member of the public sat eating his breakfast donated £20!
But this was just the beginning of our journey. Over summer, some kids might relax, but we worked hard to contact large companies and ask for their support. From emails and messages, to meetings with representatives – it was a busy summer! The first large donation we secured was from Amazon, which was an incredible boost for our team. Also, having seen our social posts, our local MP came in to see us and featured in a promotional video.
This led to a visit from the Deputy First Minister John Swinney, which was overwhelming as we had never seen so many people in suits! He visited with an entourage of people and loved our cause so much he requested to be featured in one of our videos, along with a donation.
We also took part in The Recruit Programme, an activity based on The Apprentice. Young people give up to five hundred hours of their time, competing for jobs within various businesses. We set them a challenge to create a fundraising film to attract more companies to sponsor us and their videos were amazing!
The donations continued, with local companies donating money, items for raffles and participating in auctions. We also had a large, last-minute donation from The McDonald & Co Charitable foundation which was great for our Silverstone funds.
We want to thank all of the companies that have donated money and been so supportive of our cause. We couldn’t have done any of this without our school, and staff from The West College and Developing the Young Workforce, who have helped us along the way.
Since beginning the challenge, we have learned practical and engineering skills, gained confidence and have STEM career goals for the future. Greenpower has been an incredible experience which has completely changed our lives.
Posting on social after Silverstone, the team wrote:
“We still can’t believe this has happened. We are world champions at the Greenpower Trust International Finals for Social Media at Silverstone Circuit. A huge thank you to SQN and everyone who has been involved in our journey. We are very grateful for all the opportunities we have had.”
While the Glasgow Science Centre had this to say:
“Would like to say well done to the Inver Racers for winning the SQN Social Media Award at the Greenpower Trust International Final at Silverstone Circuit, UK. Congratulations on being Scottish Champions & World Champions!”
Worthy winners, we’re sure you’ll agree…