The Family Business Network praise Windermere primary school on regional award commendation

St Martin & St Mary’s School in Windermere along with The Family Business Network were recently named as one of the winners of the 2021 Bright Stars Campaign Challenge.

Throughout May and June, The Family Business Network worked 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).

The eight-week programme engaged schools and businesses across the county to work together as a way to introduce children to leadership, entrepreneurship and teamwork in a fun and accessible way.

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

By gaining coverage on the county’s radio stations along with support from Westmorland and Lonsdale MP, Tim Farron, the class was able to drive awareness of their campaign to a wide-reaching audience.

As part of the 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, the schools presented 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.

On 2 July, the judging panel announced their decision on which of the 49 participating schools would be named as winners of the ten prize categories.

The prize for the ‘Best Strategy Development’ went to St Martins and St Mary’s Primary and The Family Business Network.

Sue Howorth of The Family Business Network said, “Finding out that St Martins and St Mary’s was picked as one of the ten winners was just fantastic. As their business mentors for the campaign, the team and I were over the moon as were their teachers Michael Corrie and Nat Norris. The children all worked really hard and learned so much from this experience as well.”

The school received glowing feedback from the judging team who said, “We were impressed with your ABLE campaign to tackle problems in the South Lakes, particularly with how different teams concentrated on different problems but worked together for a common goal.  We were blown away with how much you managed to fit in over the 8 weeks! An amazing effort and a great success.”

Claire Johnson from the Centre for Leadership Performance said, “Myself and my team were amazed by the levels of creativity, commitment, and enthusiasm from everyone involved.

“Although the judging was very tough, it was really enjoyable to look back through all of your fabulous updates and additional materials sent in.  We took hours because the judges felt that every one of the schools did the most incredible job and all deserved to be winners for different reasons.”

“We would like to thank all the businesses involved in the scheme, as without the support and contributions from you all we wouldn’t be able to run the programme.”

Claire added, “Raising the aspiration and confidence of Cumbria’s young people is a vital part of the Centre’s work and we feel very passionately about the Bright Stars scheme. We know how much the children get from taking part, as well as their business mentors.”

The programme concluded on 8 July with an online celebration event to recognise the achievements of the children.


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