Cumbria students take part in Canon’s Young People Programme to learn skills and create imagery focused on the United Nations Sustainable Development goals

London, UK, 01 October 2021 – Canon UK has today released details of its latest Young People Programme (YPP) workshop series in West Cumbria, where pupils took part in individual digital storytelling projects to help bring the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) to life.

Hosted at Whitehaven Academy and Beacon Hill Community School, these interactive workshops were designed in partnership with the Ideas Foundation.  The activity aimed to help pupils in Year 7 and Year 8 develop critical thinking, creative skills and digital literacy, using elements such as language, design and photography.

To open each session, a brief was provided by famed explorer, Richard Garriott, where pupils were tasked to create a single image, alongside impactful words, highlighting their interpretation of the UNSDGs 13 + 14, Climate Action and Life below Water.  Pupils were supported by a team of experts¹ whilst creating their masterpieces - with training on how to use Adobe Spark; how to hold and operate a camera; and how to use lighting and props to bring their stories to life. 

In partnership with local employer and Canon customer Sellafield Ltd., a selection of the imagery will be printed on Perspex boards for display at the schools². Each of the images will also be printed as a postcard and taken with Richard Garriott on his forthcoming expedition to Antarctica in February 2022. This expedition follows in the footsteps of a similar trip Richard took to the Mariana Trench in March 2021, when he took imagery taken in a previous Canon YPP workshop to showcase the pupils’ views on ocean plastics.        

Adam Pensotti, Head of the Canon Young People Programme at Canon Europe, said:
“It was really great to see the passion and enthusiasm from all the students at the workshops - the work they produced was superb, and as the next generation, they eloquently captured the issues that matter to them right now.”

Heather MacRae, Chief Executive at the Ideas Foundation, said.
“It was wonderful to see the pupils trying out different skills and getting excited about holding a camera for the first time. The imagery created is powerful and will help to influence the children to take action and protect the world in which they live.”

Nigel Youngman, Head of Whitehaven Academy, commented:
“The opportunity to work with the team from Canon is a unique experience for our students. It’s been fantastic to see them engage in developing their creative skills and we’re looking forward to building on this in our own curriculum.”

Canon works with its customer Sellafield Ltd., to coordinate social good exercises within the West Cumbria area. To learn more about the Young People Programme and its activities in the region, please visit:

The workshops are part of Canon’s Young People Programme (YPP) which aims to help young people from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa with creative education - providing them with out of the ordinary development opportunities. Since its inception, it has worked with over 5,000 young people and over 50 charity partners. In the UK, Canon’s YPP has been running in partnership with the Ideas Foundation for over six years

1 The pupils were supported at each workshop by a team which included: Canon Ambassador, Clive Booth; Adam Pensotti, Head of Canon’s Young People Programme; Nathan Dua, Canon Education Segment Manager; Dean Hodgson, Canon Client Services Manager; Heather MacRea, Managing Director, Ideas Foundation; Phil Badham, Educational and Technology Consultant; and Peter Thomas, Chair, The National Association for the Teaching of English
2 A selection of images from the workshops will be printed using Canon Arizona printers, installed at nearby Sellafield Ltd.