Robert Burns Academy pupils have been commended by Prince Charles for helping tackle the problem of food waste in East Ayrshire.

Pupils from the Cumnock school attended an event at Dumfries House, headquarters of The Prince’s Foundation, where the results of their charity’s Food For The Future programme were revealed.

At the event, pupils demonstrated their learning from the programme, with their presentations judged by a panel of experts from all sectors of the industry, including the Jamie Oliver Group and Asda.

His Royal Highness then presented an award to pupils in recognition of their work – with Robert Burns Academy winning the first place prize of gardening equipment provided by Asda, and a voucher for a local garden centre thanks to generous donations from Keenan’s Recycling, Davidson’s Animals Feeds and Baynes the Bakers.

Head teacher Peter Gilchrist said: “The amount of work that these young people have put in to their local communities, and to the role of the sustainability agenda, has been an enormous task for them.

“But they have thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from it. We are very proud of them.”

Iona Murray, food, farming and horticulture coordinator for The Prince’s Foundation, said: “It has been a pleasure to work with pupils from Robert Burns Academy through the pilot of our Food for the Future programme.

“The education team here have been so impressed with how well the pupils have engaged with the programme.

“We are very much looking forward to seeing how they use the knowledge and skills they have gained to help reduce food waste in their homes, school and local community.”

The pupils’ experience on the programme has also led to the establishment of a new initiative at the Robert Burns Academy whereby leftover food from the school canteen is repurposed and made available to the local community.