CBI goes bats for school writing competition

Never work with children or animals is a famous show business saying, but does it apply to the world of PR? We decided to find out as part of our 10th Anniversary celebrations with a project involving bats.

The children from Year 5 at Nutley Primary School and some of the bat boxes they helped build.

It’s ‘bats to the future’ at Ceris Burns International

Sustainability is a core theme of our work with most, if not all, of our clients. Add to that the fact our office is situated in the stunning Ashdown Forest and a project with environmental benefits was an obvious way to mark our birthday.

We decided to get a local school involved and invited the Year 5 children from Nutley Primary School – most of whom are also 10 this year – to come to Pippingford Manor to build bat boxes. These would then be installed in a nearby tree to provide homes for some of Ashdown Forest’s smaller residents. Bats keep insect populations down and spread pollen so are an important part of our ecosystem.

The activity didn’t stop there though. As professional writers, we want to encourage young people to develop their writing skills, and to learn more about PR and the industries we work with.

We challenged them to write a story about bats or a report on the afternoon they’d spent with us. We were delighted with the quality of the entries we received and were very happy to award the prize to Oscar for his story Dylan the bat. We were particularly impressed by the attention grabbing and suspenseful opening! Oscar won an Amazon Kindle and the runners up received book tokens (as did the school library).

We thoroughly enjoyed the experience, so did the children and it was great to know we were supporting the local wildlife and community. The idea of not working with children may well be fake news when it’s in a PR setting – we’ll have to see about the animal bit when the bats move in!