The Family Business Network Supports Primary School Pupils in Windermere to ‘make a difference’

Headquartered in South Cumbria, The Family Business Network have partnered with a local primary school, St Martin & St Mary’s School in Windermere to participate in the innovative Bright Stars programme run by the Centre for Leadership Performance (CfLP).

Now in it’s ninth year, the 2021 Programme has engaged schools and businesses across the county to work together over an eight-week period, commencing on 4 May and concluding on 28 June.

The scheme is known to offer huge benefits to children and communities across the county with children being introduced to leadership, entrepreneurship and teamwork in a fun and accessible way. Local businesses meanwhile are able to connect with young people and positively impact their local communities.

CfLP Executive Director, Sarah Glass explains “The Centre for Leadership Performance and its partners were determined that despite the pandemic, the programme should go ahead in 2021 with new safeguarding arrangements to deliver valuable and positive experiences for the children.”

Sue Howorth (Founder & Co-Director) along with Rebecca Keen of The Family Business Network mentored the Year 6 class at St Martin & St Mary’s, who were working to develop the theme of ‘Make A Difference’, creating their own campaign, ‘ABLE – A Better Lakes for Everyone’. Their campaign focused on environmental issues and making a difference in their local area, which all the pupils were very passionate about.

The class formed ten separate focus groups to work on specific themes related to the environment. Eager to make a difference, the pupils wrote letters to Westmorland and Lonsdale MP, Tim Farron describing their campaign and asking for his help to raise awareness and encourage change. The class was delighted to receive responses back from Tim Farron as well as additional responses from other MP’s in parliament, who had been made aware of their campaign through Mr Farron.

Year 6 Teacher from St Martin & St Mary’s School, Michael Corrie said, “We’ve thoroughly enjoyed participating in the Bright Stars project this year as it’s given the children a chance to develop a range of valuable life skills and focus on our amazing local environment. It has been refreshing to see the children engage with their chosen environmental campaign with such passion and enthusiasm. 

“To hear the next generation say things like, “We know we need to make a difference for our future,” and, “We are so grateful that Tim Farron has taken the time to respond personally to our groups campaign,” is a testament to the hard work they have put in and fills us, as teachers, with pride. Hopefully people in our area will be able to see the impact of the children’s hard work in looking after our local environment.”

With the aid of The Family Business Network, the Year 6 class have been able to raise wider awareness of their campaign through the region’s airwaves by participating in a radio interview.

Two pupils and a teacher from the school were recorded giving an interview about the campaign on Tuesday 22 June with Nick Hood of Lake District Radio. The interview will be played live on Lake District Radio on Monday 28 June on Nick Hood’s Business Show.

Sue Howorth, Founder of The Family Business Network said, “We’ve worked with the CfLP to support their initiatives for young people over the past five years, through the Bright Stars and Dream Placement programmes.

“For me it’s a lovely opportunity to give back to the local community. My own daughter attends the school and I feel that primary school is a great age to start developing certain skills and confidence that will benefit them later in education and life.”

“The Family Business Network is heavily involved in encouraging and inspiring the next generation and through our extended connections and links within the region including the Lake District Foundation and the Lake District National Park, we’ve been able to help the pupils gain traction to promote their campaign”. 

As part of the Bright Stars programme, each school & business partnership gets to compete to win funds for their school with prizes in ten categories including best leadership and teamworking.

This year schools were asked to present their weekly updates and a final presentation through an online portal. The Family Business Network asked Video Director, Sheenah Alcock to help the pupils produce a film featuring each of the ten groups and their fantastic work, for submission to the judges.

The programme will conclude with an online celebration event to recognise the achievements of the children before the end of the Summer Term.

To find out more about The Family Business Network, visit

To find out more about Bright Stars can visit email or call 07843 684746 or 01900 824822