Students visit Malawi to see impact of sales of their plasters in Co-op stores

Students Emmie Rayat, Deryn Hertz and Taylar Leak with their product in Malawi

Students Emmie Rayat, Deryn Hertz and Taylar Leak with their product in Malawi

One year on from the launch of One Careplast Plasters into The Co-operative Food and Pharmacy stores nationwide, the three A-Level students behind the “One Big Idea” have travelled to Malawi to see the difference that has been made from the sales of their product.

Emmie Rayat, Taylar Leak and Deryn Hertz, from Bushey Meads school in Hertfordshire, beat hundreds of entries to design a product that could be sold in the UK to help those most in need in Malawi as part of a nationwide competition, One Big Idea, organised by The One Brand, in partnership with The Co-operative Group. The competition was judged by Peter Marks, group chief executive of The Co-operative Group and Duncan Goose, founder of the One brand.

The girls’ winning idea was One Careplast Plasters – the profits from which would be used to fund bicycle ambulances and medical boxes in rural areas of Malawi. To mark a year since the start of the project, the trio have travelled to Africa with their teacher Elaine Pinkus and Jessica Hook from The One Brand.

Since launching in June 2011, over 25,000 packs have been sold in The Co-operative Food and Pharmacy stores. Sales of the plasters have helped to ensure that first aid treatment and transport to hospital is available promptly for people living in rural areas in Malawi, changing the lives of many rural communities.

Scott Shaw, category buyer for The Co-operative Food, said: “The students certainly did their homework and showed real enterprise – the animal designs on the plasters and the powerful messages on the packaging all link back strongly to funding medical supplies in Malawi.

”The concept behind the One Careplast Plasters is simple, and they’re proving popular with our customers, who like the fact that their purchase is helping some of the poorest people in Malawi when they are most in need.”

Rayat said: “When we heard about the competition, we were shocked to discover the life expectancy of someone living in Malawi is only 43 years – which is incredibly young compared to people in the UK. We wanted to make something that would help people who can’t get medical treatment quickly. It was amazing to see our product on shelf, but to go and meet some of the communities that have benefited from the sale of the products has been really inspiring.”

One Careplast Plasters are available in a variety of sizes and come in a funky animal print design. The packs can be found on shelf in Co-operative food stores and pharmacy branches, starting from £1.39 per pack.