Hundreds of children set to take part in South Shields sandcastle competition

Hundreds of South Tyneside schoolchildren will hit the beach later this year for the North East’s biggest sandcastle challenge.

Marine Park Primary School pupils taking part in last year's Sandcastle Challenge at Sandhaven Beach.
Marine Park Primary School pupils taking part in last year's Sandcastle Challenge at Sandhaven Beach.

Now organiser Children North East is appealing to the local business community to dig in and help youngsters hone their creations for this year’s theme – Build a Better World.

More than 1,800 children from 50 primary and middle schools are set to compete to come up with the best environmental ideas when the charity holds its 25th annual Sandcastle Challenge on July 5.

St Bedes RC Primary School, South Shields, pupils last year

The mass participation event, sponsored by construction company, Galliford Try Partnerships North, on Sandhaven Beach, in South Shields, has become a much-loved fixture on school and business calendars alike and last year saw a total of 43 schools working with a range of employers – from architects and construction companies to banks and law practices.


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Carol Taylor, Senior Fundraiser for Children North East, said businesses really enjoyed being part of the challenge and many return year after year: “It’s a fantastic event to be a part of that not only offers companies a day away from the pressures of the office but is an ideal opportunity to forge community links and tick those all-important corporate social responsibility boxes.

“But above all it’s a lot of fun – we match companies to a team then they have the chance to visit their partner school prior to the event and help them work up ideas and designs before meeting up on the beach for the challenge.”

Prizes are awarded to the five most interesting designs and each of those schools takes home a £200 prize thanks to the sponsor.

Westoe Crown pupils during last year's Sandcastle Challenge


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The businesses themselves compete for the much coveted Sandcastle Trophy – won last year by Tesco Bank – awarded at the charity’s annual Sandcastle Ball in September, sponsored by construction giant, Robertson Construction England, to the company that worked best with its partner school.

Companies that would like to help the builders of tomorrow with their designs can contact Carol Taylor at [email protected] or phone her on 256 2444

Children North East is a registered charity which works with children and young people in their families, schools and communities to ensure they grow up to be healthy and happy.

In 2017/18 Children North East helped 3,584 children and young people from across the North East.