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Winners announced for ESRC Better Lives photo competition for young people

Winners were announced on Tuesday 26 March for the national photo competition for 14 – 18 year olds, organised by the Economic and Social Research Council, called Better Lives.

The winners were divided across the five categories of the competition that explored important issues in the social sciences: Better Economy, Better Education, Better Environment, Better Health and Better Relationships.

There were more than 506 images submitted by students from 160 places in the UK and the entrants came from a range of schools and colleges.

The winners were announced at an awards ceremony held at Espacio gallery in London and the winning photographs will be displayed in a special exhibition at the gallery which will run between 27 and 30 March.

Annwen Butler-Chattell, 15, was awarded the top prize of £200 in vouchers and the Overall Winner trophy, as well as claiming a further £150 in vouchers and a trophy for winning the Better Relationships category. Her black-and-white photograph, Sandy Grins, shows her nephew and niece playing together in the sand at Lytham Beach.

Annwen says: “Every second and every aspect of a child's life is important. As a child grows, the relationships which they form shape and mould them into the person they become. The people they grow up with will have significant roles in their life – when these people are supportive, it will positively influence on the rest of the child's upbringing.”

The awards ceremony was hosted by Professor Paul Nightingale, Director of Strategy and Operations at ESRC. 

He said:

“The range of entrants to this year’s ESRC Photo Competition was extremely impressive and I have enjoyed speaking with winners and runners up tonight. I was delighted to host tonight’s ceremony and the entrants
to the competition have demonstrated how social science research touches so many aspects of life from the economy to the environment.” 

There were five judges for the competition: Nick Stevens -  ESRC Publisher, Sophie Batterbury – iNews Pictures Editor, Phil Coomes – BBC Pictures Editor, Joanne Gallagher – former winner and student at York University and Professor Jane Falkingham – Professor of Demography and International Social Policy. 

David Green, Head of Year at Lancaster Girls' Grammar School, Annwen’s school, said: “The school is incredibly proud of Annwen for her fantastic achievement. Annwen is known as a very talented artist and photographer within the school, but it is brilliant that she has been recognised outside of school too. We always encourage pupils to challenge themselves in and out of school and so for Annwen to win this award is a great example of how individuals can follow their passions and explore their own ideas to display their talents.”

Social science research plays a vital role in society. From big ideas to the most detailed observations, social science affects all aspects of life - at work, in school or college and within communities. Social science makes people’s lives better - it helps society to become enriched, healthier, more resilient and sustainable.

Notes for editors

The full list of winners:

Annwen Butler-Chattell   ,15, Lancaster Girls' Grammar School, Sandy grinsBetter relationships: Category and Overall winner of ESRC Photo Competition
Josie Drapkin, 17, Kings Norton Girls School and Sixth Form, A proud embraceBetter relationships: Joanne Gallagher Judge's Favourite
Sam Parkinson, 17, Reepham High School and College, Friends across the generationsBetter relationships: Sophie Batterbury Judge's Favourite
Tilly Dunlop, 16  , Whickham School, The uniqueness of unityBetter relationships: Category Runner Up
India, 15, Downfall of communication, Better relationships: Category Runner Up

Elizabeth Revell, 14, Sheringham Sixth Form, Addition and subtractionBetter education: Category Winner
Yazmin  Pang, 16, Watford Grammar School for Girls, Education as a driving forceBetter education: Category Runner Up
Issa Berohou, 14, Newlands Academy, Alchemy projectBetter education: Nick Stevens Judge's Favourite and Category Runner Up

Saiesha Gupta, 16, Benenden School, PashminaBetter environment: Category Winner
Charlotte Stevens, 17, St Mary's School, Fun or deadly? Better environment:Category Runner Up
Jessica   Quinton, 15, Jubilee High School, Bee' cause bees matter! Better environment: Category Runner Up

Florence Noon, 17, Twyford C of E High School, Ginger factoryBetter economy: Category Winner and Judge’s Favourite
Alyssa Mehta, 14, Surbiton High School, Invisible sufferingBetter economy: Category Runner Up
Owen Naylor Hall, 16, North Warwickshire and Hinckley College, Independence.Better economy: Category Runner Up

Emma Peacock, 17, St Mary's School, AntioxidantBetter health: Category Winner
Eloise Moore, 16, Reepham High School and College, Captive. Better health: Category Runner Up
Rose Stevens, 15, Reepham High School and College, Pull your socks up. Better health: Category Runner Up
Abigail Pickersgill, 17, Moreton Hall school, Portrait 5965. Better health: Phil Coomes Judge's Favourite

  • The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government. 
  • The ESRC is the UK’s largest funder of research on the social and economic questions facing us today. It supports the development and training of the UK’s future social scientists and also funds major studies that provide the infrastructure for research. ESRC-funded research informs policymakers and practitioners and helps make businesses, voluntary bodies and other organisations more effective.
  • UK Research and Innovation is a new body which works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. We aim to maximise the contribution of each of our component parts, working individually and collectively. We work with our many partners to benefit everyone through knowledge, talent and ideas.


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