Glasgow Caledonian University health expert Professor Sebastien Chastin presented Cadder Primary and Lambhill Stables Environmental Group with certificates for their winning ‘Rocket Man’ community eco film.

The film was produced as part of GCU Our Voice Citizen Science Project with Professor Chastin, former GCU Community and Public Engagement Officer Susan Grant and students Antonia Voss, Murin Currie and Eleanor Logan.

They helped Cadder Primary children and the Lambhill Stables youth groups produce the video which won best film in the Water and Wellbeing category of the Hutton Institute Water Wall in Motion competition.

Professor Chastin visited the Lambhill Stables to present the school and the stables with the winning certificates during the Dandelion Floating Gardens Canal Tour in North Glasgow.

As their prize, trees will be planted for them by Trees for Life in the Scottish Highlands as part of work to restore the Caledonian Forest.

Water Wall in Motion projects are activities in Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters, and are funded by the Centre of expertise for Waters (CREW) and Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society (SAGES) with professional input from the Scottish water community.

Professor Chastin, who has carried out a host of research on the health benefits of living near a canal, launched a citizen science campaign during which children living around the canals in North Glasgow collected data as evidence to make their voices heard about what they would like to see preserved and improved in their local area for the health and wellbeing of the people and wildlife.

The campaign used the Our Voice methodology, developed by Stanford School of Medicine and the Global Citizen Science Network. The children decided to make a movie with an animated character called Rocket Man to make their voices heard with the help of talented student mentors from GCU. Watch here.

The film was screened at several science festivals, shared with local politicians and has had a lot of impact.

Professor Chastin said: “It’s great that this project which used science to empower local residents to make changes to their own environment has won this fantastic award. The Global Citizen Science Network is an international project that runs in 19 countries.

“We helped the local community to understand their environment, prioritise what they wanted to change and to have some control over how this can be done. You can see how this has been realised today with this award.

“The kids were amazing and the way they engaged with it was very natural because we used technology they understand. It was a real pleasure for us as scientists to support this vital energy they had and enable them to produce an award-winning film.”

Maggie MacBean Orr, Lambhill Stables Project Development Manager, said: “The kids absolutely loved it and thanks to GCU’s community project, it brought the kids from Cadder Primary and the youth clubs at Lambhill Stables together and really empowered them to talk about their own thoughts and feelings about the environment.”

Hannah Sinclair, Cadder Primary teacher, who runs the school’s eco-committee, said: “We are delighted to receive this certificate. It is a fantastic achievement for the school and thanks to GCU for helping the kids with this amazing project.”

GCU’s research strategy is underpinned by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Professor Chastin is a key researcher in the University’s Research Centre for Health (ReaCH) which makes a direct and significant contribution to Goal 3 – good health and wellbeing.