Local Firm Catalyst for Sawtry Student Science Awards

Five students at Sawtry Village Academy were the proud recipients of science awards as part of a burgeoning partnership with chemical processor Safapac.

Picture caption: Martin Steele, chairman of Safapac Holdings, presents the awards to students.

The sixth form students who were recognised by Safapac for excellent GCSE results in science were (L to R):

Kathryn Paternoster for BTEC Applied Science, Emma Hunt for chemistry, Jake Smith for physics, and Megan Childs for biology, while Katie Wright in Year 12 was also recognised for her overall GCSE results. 

The students (pictured) received their awards for high performance in chemistry, physics, biology, applied science, and overall performance in adversity, with Safapac awarding £100 Amazon vouchers for each student.

The partnership began in 2016 when a group of students toured the Safapac facilities heralding the start of a series of investments from the firm, including subsidising school trips, organising laboratory tours and experiments, as well as purchasing science equipment for the school.

The investment is part of a bid to encourage uptake of science by students and showcase the career opportunities on offer.

According to a Science Industry Partnership report in 2016[i], it is estimated the science industries will require between 180,000 – 260,000 new staff between now and 2025. Of these up to 142,000 are expected to be professional level jobs, along with 73,000 technical level jobs. The remainder would be in customer service, administrative and elementary occupations. 

John Blaydes, technical director at Safapac, said the company, along with Howsafe who have provided health and safety equipment to the school, wanted to support the academy as much as possible, while also demonstrating what a science-based career can offer:

“We felt there was a need to show students a real-world example of what science qualifications can lead to. There’s many opportunities for students to get into science-based careers and sometimes there’s a mistaken belief that you must go to university to get these jobs, but it’s not always the case.

“So it’s really important we build links between us, the wider business community and local schools and demonstrate the relation between science at school and the ‘outside world’”.

Michelle Garrod, science curriculum leader at Sawtry Village Academy, said the students had really engaged with the subject matter:

“The relationship between Safapac and the Academy has really opened up students’ eyes to the world of science and the many different career pathways within it.

“The investment of time Safapac has and will continue to give to Sawtry Village Academy is invaluable. The next step is for sixth-form students to gain some valuable work-based professional experience with Safapac and stimulate many students for years to come to look towards the science industry as an interesting and rewarding career.”

John added that Safapac would be canvassing other local suppliers to support the Academy and take part in the initiative:

“If any businesses or suppliers can help with this or would like to get involved, we’d welcome their support.”

To offer your support to Safapac and Sawtry Village Academy, please email john.blaydes@safapac.co.uk