DOON ACADEMY students have won thousands of pounds after creating a mental health board game.

Pupils created the board games based on Jenga and snakes and ladders to encourage young people to open up about how they are feeling.

Now they have been crowned winners of the Sir Tom Hunter Enterprise Challenge, for the second year, for the open minded group game.

The aim is to effectively tackle difficult topics and help young people develop coping mechanisms. They picked up the win jointly with Largs Academy after challenging their peers to recognise their mental health problems.

The team, Meghann, Eibhlinn, Lily, Katie, Connor, Corin, Shae, Ewan and Jake, created board games ideas to give more support to their community.

Sir Tom announced that each school would receive a prize of £4000 to help them develop their businesses.

The FOB team of Nicole, Anna, Matthew, Owen, Adam and Ceitidh, created a bespoke app designed to reduce bullying in schools across Scotland and improve the mental health of young people. Their pitch was informative and the judges were impressed by the app’s unique selling points.

As part of his commitment to mentor local pupils, entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter has, over the last seven years, challenged youngsters to come up with ideas for products, innovations or businesses of the future.

Sir Tom Hunter said: “We now need to keep supporting these nascent entrepreneurs to be all they can be. They make all of us in Ayrshire proud.”

Councillor Elena Whitham, Depute Leader of East Ayrshire Council was joined at the final by Councillor Fiona Campbell, Cabinet Member for Skills and Learning. Councillor Whitham said: “I am incredibly proud of our young people from Doon Academy who showed great maturity, confidence and courage to win the grand final of the Sir Tom Hunter Challenge and to Kilmarnock Academy who took third place.

“Our teams pitched viable business ideas in a passionate way. They engaged the judges and the audience with their excellent presentations that were well researched and developed. All projects had a degree of inclusivity. They were all about kindness and helping others.

“Engagement with business is a key priority for our council and is now securely embedded in the school curriculum. Our vision is to ensure that every pupil will develop the skills and abilities for a successful career.”

The Sir Tom Hunter Challenge formed part of the council’s sector leading business enterprise programme, designed to develop entrepreneurial skills and help make young people ‘business ready’.