The Devon County Agricultural Association (DCAA) is delighted to reveal the winners of the Prince of Wales Award for 2022.

This year there are two winners – SparkUK and Ocean Discovery Zone, and the first prize of £1000 will be divided between them.

Both winners will be presented with their prize at the 2022 Devon County Show. 

Lady Arran, Head Judge said: ‘Each year, we have so many worthwhile community initiatives entering these prestigious awards in Devon, it’s difficult to choose an outright winner.  This year we’ve chosen joint winners, both of which the judges considered to be outstanding applicants.

We are delighted that these two inspirational community projects will receive the recognition they so deserve in order that they can continue their fantastic work.’

SparkUK was the brainchild of Conor Warren, then 14 years old and a student.  Recognising the need for mental health support amongst his peers, he and a team of students became mental health Ambassadors and started to look at ways of developing resources for those suffering from mental health issues.  ‘There was very little available’ says Conor ‘particularly during the Pandemic when it was needed most but everything got pushed aside.  We recognised the need to take the matter into our own hands’

What started out with some sharing of social media content designed to raise a smile from those in need and spark conversation around mental health, then progressed to Conor’s idea for an ‘All Star Advent Calendar’.  This invited such celebrities as Stephen Fry, Dame Emma Thompson and Bradley Wash to offer their personal tips on mental health each day.  This was a huge success and spurred Conor and his colleagues on to start developing a set of lesson plans that could be incorporated into the school curriculum.   Around 300 schools thus far have signed up.  Conor, now 16, is absolutely delighted with Spark UK’s progress and is planning to register the company as a CiC next year as well as roll out many more resources developed by teenagers, for teenagers. 

Sea Dream Education’s Ocean Discovery Zone is a concept the DCAA knows well.  For the past three years, the Ocean Discovery Zone outreach programme which travels the length and breadth of the county showcasing the wonders of the Ocean, has culminated in an installation at Devon County Show.  This is one of the biggest features on the showground and a real highlight of the show, where visitors are invited to engage in fun and meaningful activities and resources designed to connect them to Devon’s wealth of coastal waters.  Dr Juliette Jackson, founder of Sea Dream Education and the Ocean Discovery Zone is delighted to have won the Award: ‘We are passionate about developing new content to engage the community as well as make it interactive, immersive and accessible to all groups.  We are thrilled to receive any additional support that will help us achieve our goals.’