School students know their rights in young consumer competition

Four pupils of Dingwall Academy are the winners of the North of Scotland Heat Young Consumer of the Year Competition held on Friday 8th December at Highland Council Chambers, in Inverness.  

Youngsters from Dingwall Academy, Fraserburgh Academy and Kinlochleven High School were put through their paces relating to questions on money and credit, consumer law, food and safety and the environment by quiz-master Jamie Stone MSP.

The North of Scotland competition is in its third year and schools competing had to vie for a place in the North of Scotland Heat with local eliminator rounds being held in Dingwall Academy and Lochaber High School.

The winning team, from Dingwall Academy will now go on to represent the North of Scotland area in the Scottish finals which are due to be held in Edinburgh in March 2007.

United Utilities have supported the competition for the second year running.  Leanne Clarke from United Utilities awarded the winning prize of £200 to Sophie Ross, Jennifer Sinclair,  Asha Rennie, and Emma Mackenzie which will be used to initiate and develop a school project with an environmental theme.

John Hart, Head of Operations at United Utilities, said: “As part of the competition, team members had to answer questions, devised by ourselves, on issues relating to the environment, including safety of drinking water, clean and safe beaches and the responsibility that consumers have regarding the safe disposal of waste which can seriously impact on the environment.

“It is important to educate young consumers taking part in the competition that clean, safe drinking water is a valuable resource and that they have a responsibility to safeguard it by adopting a responsible attitude when it comes to waste disposal.”

United Utilities is one of the UK’s largest multi-utility companies and has over 30 sites across the country, managing waste water treatment facilities in Scotland.

The winning school also received vouchers, provided by United Utilities, for Monster Activities South Laggan, near Spean Bridge, to spend on a white water rafting experience on the River Gary.

Iain Mackinnon, Operations Manager for Monster Activities said: “We are delighted to be included in the competition with United Utilities as a supporter of this competition which educates young consumers on the environment around them.  I hope Dingwall Academy will enjoy their visit with us to the quad biking, target sports and white water rafting.”

The North of Scotland Heat held in Inverness was hosted by The Highland Council’s Transport, Environmental and Communities Services - Trading Standards.

Nigel MacKenzie, Head of Trading Standards said: “We are delighted that the competition is in its third year and pleased that we continue to host the event for the North of Scotland area.  It is important to educate young persons in their rights and their responsibilities and to highlight the important work that Trading Standards does not just in the Highlands but throughout the UK both in advice and enforcement of consumer law. As well as educating the students who have taken part, the competition is also for fun and we hope they have all enjoyed themselves today.  We hope that the Highland schools will continue to support the competition and we thank our sponsors for their generous prizes, which has certainly instilled a competitive spirit throughout the main competition and regional eliminator rounds.  

“Our thanks must also go to Jamie Stone MSP who continues to support the competition by being our quizmaster for the North of Scotland event.  Jamie has managed to fit us in to his demanding schedule and has found time to talk to all the competitors taking part to put them at their ease before the competition.”

Other sponsors of the competition provided various additional prizes. ELSPA (Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association) provided PlayStation games for the highest scoring runners-up and sweatshirts for the runners-up prizes in recognition of all their hard work while taking part in the competition.

The Scottish final will be held at the Queen Margaret University College in Edinburgh in March 2007 with the winners then representing Scotland in the UK Final of the competition in 2007.

– Ends –

Notes to Editors:

Main sponsors of the competition are:

1. United Utilities is the UK's largest operator of wastewater systems.

It owns and operates the wastewater network in North West England. The company treats 2,200 million litres of wastewater every day via a network of around 39,000 kilometres of sewers.  They maintain a network of sewers and treatment works to collect and treat wastewater from these homes and businesses, before returning it safely to the environment. In the North West they maintain and operate:  39,000 km of sewers  600 wastewater treatment works. They also manage wastewater networks in Wales for Dwr Cymru Welsh Water and wastewater treatment facilities in Scotland. Around the world they are providing and improving wastewater services in Australia, Bulgaria, Estonia, the Philippines and Poland

8 Dec 2006