11/06/2013 Talented teenagers have their say on sustainability at European Parliament

11 Jun 2013

Eight talented teenagers – Elllie and Lucy Ferguson (12 and 15), Olivia Mustafa (13), Ronan Barton (16), Monica Yianni (14), Oscar Jopp (13) , Saba Qureshi (15) and David Laszkiewicz (15) – have been crowned environmental champions, following their success in a national video competition run by Eurostar and the Young People's Trust for the Environment (YPTE).

Each of the winners produced and starred in a short video to enter the "Have your say on sustainability" competition, voicing their views on topics ranging from energy usage and recycling to overpopulation and overfishing of the world's oceans. As part of their prize, the children travelled by Eurostar to Brussels, to present their views directly to MEPs in the European Parliament. To see the children in action, please click here. Each winning entry also took home £250 worth of technology vouchers for their school.

The event, which took place for the second year running, was attended by 10 MEPs including Catherine Bearder, MEP, who hosted the debate:

"For the second year, I was delighted to hear from such talented and inspirational young people. All the MEPs were impressed with their poise, confidence and good ideas and we will certainly try to keep them in mind in our future work."

David Laszkiewicz, winner, said: "I had a fantastic day in Brussels. The MEPs really sat up and took notice of our views and reassured us that action would be taken on the points we raised. What's more, I got to make great friends and see the inside of the Parliament. I'll remember this day forever".

Peter Bragg, head of Environment and Energy for Eurostar, said:

"We're very proud to work with YPTE for the second year running, offering young people the opportunity to air their views in front of Europe's key decision-makers. We were inspired by the topics that the children chose to bring to the debate, as they demonstrated their passion and determination to protect their future and truly drive the green agenda. "

Peter Littlewood, Director, Young People's Trust for the Environment said:

"It is brilliant to be continuing our partnership with Eurostar.  This competition is identifying some of the UK's most environmentally aware young people and giving them the opportunity to debate the important issues with MEPs whose decisions really can make a difference.  The quality of the presentations and the level of knowledge the winners showed was really impressive."

The competition is part of an ongoing partnership between Eurostar and the YPTE to support free accessible education on the environment. This forms part of Eurostar's Tread Lightly programme of initiatives, designed to reduce the business' impact on the environment and encourage consumers – both young and old - to think differently about the way they travel.


Notes to Editors

The winners were:




Olivia Mustafa



Ronan Barton, Monica Yianni, Oscar Jopp (Knight's TemplarSchool)



Ellie and Lucy Ferguson


Sherburn-in Elmet

David Laszkiewicz


Muir of Ord, Ross-shire

Saba Qureshi*



For more information, please contact the Eurostar Press Office on 0207 843 5500press.office@eurostar.co.uk

For more information on the Young People's Trust for the Environment visit www.ypte.org.uk

* Due to exam commitments, unfortunately Saba was unable to join the other winners on the 5th June. A separate session in Parliament will be arranged for Saba later in the year.

About Eurostar

  1. Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.
  2. Eurostar was established in 1994 as a partnership between three railway companies: SNCF, SNCB and LCR (London and Continental Railways).  On 1 September 2010, Eurostar became a single, unified corporate entity owned by three shareholders: SNCF, SNCB and LCR.
  3. The current Eurostar train was first introduced into service in 1994 carrying 750 passengers and operating at speeds of up to 300kph.  Since then, the fleet of 28 trains has carried more than 100 million passengers between London and the Continent.  Following their refurbishment these trains will continue to form a core part of the Eurostar fleet.  The new Eurostar e320 will carry more than 900 passengers at speeds of up to 320kph.
  4. Eurostar is a founder member of Railteam, a partnership between Europe's leading high-speed train operators that is developing simpler ways to book and travel on the fast-expanding, European high-speed rail network.
  5. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are entirely separate companies.  Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates vehicle shuttle services and the Channel Tunnel itself. Eurostar is Eurotunnel's biggest customer.
  6. To book tickets or for more travel information, please visit www.eurostar.com or call 03448 224 777. 

About The Young People's Trust for the Environment

  • The Young People's Trust for the Environment (YPTE) is a registered charity that was established in 1982. Its aim is to create a better future by inspiring young people to look after our world.  The Trust offers free educational services to schools and young people, including competitions and award schemes, free talks and presentations in schools and a free online information service for teachers and young people via its website www.ypte.org.uk.