Over 600 pupils in Pembrokeshire’s secondary schools have received more than 2,600 free books thanks to a programme called eduCAT, which is part funded by the Landmarc100 rural innovation scheme.

eduCAT is an innovation programme for schools to generate business ideas that improve sustainability in their communities and give students valuable job and work insights. It is the brainchild of TYF Connect CIC, a social enterprise aiming to provide education, enterprise and innovation for sustainable transformation. TYF Connect invited Landmarc to invest in the programme through the Landmarc100 scheme to help with the roll out in Pembrokeshire before offering it pan-Wales.

The 2,656 sustainability-themed books were delivered to 664 students in December. They were donated by Sawday Publishers after they heard about eduCAT and the programme’s commitment to supporting young people in Pembrokeshire. Titles included ‘One Planet Living’, ‘The Big Earth Book’ and ‘The Little Food Book’, which were originally destined to be pulped due to over printing.

Councillor Sue Perkins, Cabinet Member for Education and Safeguarding, said:

“The donation of these books to our schools is much appreciated and I’m sure they will provide students with a very valuable resource for years to come.”

Sam Swift, TYF’s education development officer said:

“We are giving the books to pupils in Pembrokeshire to help them engage in the issues of sustainability and global citizenship and to assist in their Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification.”

The schools’ eduCAT workshops have been designed to catalyse imagination and problem solving. During the workshops, students and teachers are invited to step out of their normal thinking patterns and imagine radical changes that could create jobs and strengthen communities whilst reducing impact on the environment.

From the dozens of initial ideas pupils generate, the best ideas get filtered out by the pupils and they work on these as part of their Welsh Baccalaureate studies.

Mark Griffiths, Landmarc’s regional operations manager for Wales and West commented:

“It’s good to see that, through Landmarc100, we are able to support such a worthwhile scheme for schools in the local area. Young people are ideally placed to develop ideas and innovations that can be of benefit to their local community and these resources will have a valuable role to play.”

Find out more about Landmarc 100