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Glasgow secondary school hosts life-size inflatable whale with help from Deloitte and WDC

Delilah is our life-sized inflatable North Atlantic right whale. Her measurements are based off of a real whale who lived along the East coast in the US and Canada. Delilah also has a friend across the sea named Hope! Read about Hope's latest adventure below.

Pupils at Govan High School played host to a life-size inflatable humpback whale on Tuesday thanks to Deloitte’s climate charity partnership with Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC).

The whale, named Hope, measures 13m long and 8m wide, just like a real humpback whale. The exciting resource into schools is sure to leave a lasting impact on pupils who likely haven’t seen a whale in the wild.

Govan High School, one of Deloitte’s partner schools as part of its 5 Million Futures Programme, is one of the first schools in Scotland that the whale has visited. Hope’s visit will give students the opportunity to learn about carbon absorption, sustainability and how important whales are to the health of our oceans.

Pupils also had the opportunity to walk inside the inflatable whale to find out more about its anatomy and the threats to it. The whale has images of scarring from entanglement in fishing gear on her fins and plastic waste in her stomach, highlighting some of the threats that humpback whales face in Scottish waters.

Through its 5 Million Futures programme, Deloitte focuses on helping people overcome barriers to education and employment. Working with schools and charities, Deloitte mobilises its people through volunteering, fundraising and pro-bono work to build better futures throughout the UK.

The professional services firm partnered with WDC in 2021 to help grow its ambitious ‘Green Whale’ initiative, which seeks to establish whales as ‘international public good’ and allies in the fight against climate breakdown.

As well as Hope’s visit, several WDC-recommended fiction books have been donated to Govan High School’s library, alongside a year-long whale adoption package.

Deloitte is also funding a travel grant to help pupils from other schools travel to WDC’s Scottish Dolphin Centre in Moray across the next year.

Pupils inside Hope the inflatable whale

Angela Mitchell, Senior Partner for Deloitte in Scotland, said: “We have been working with WDC to help scale up its ambitions for protecting whales and dolphins around the world, and it’s been really valuable to have them share their knowledge with one of our partner schools.

“This climate partnership forms another part of our efforts to break down barriers to ensure everyone has equal access to education, employability and skills. It also supports our WorldClimate ambition to become Net Zero across our operations by 2030 and drive responsible climate choices within our firm and beyond.”

Scott McHendry, Principal Teacher of Positive Destinations, Govan High School, said: “We’re really proud to be the first high school in Scotland to host Hope. Her visit has given our pupils the opportunity to learn more about the importance of whales in protecting our planet and made for a fun and interactive session.

“I’d also like to thank Deloitte for their generous donation which will help our students learn even more about the fantastic work WDC does to protect our whales and dolphins.”

Lorna Hall, WDC education co-ordinator, said: “We really enjoyed taking our life-sized inflatable whale to Govan High School and were pleased to see the students so enthusiastic about the work we do.

“WDC is building a global network of scientists, conservationists, economists, and businesses, all united in our ambitions to save the whale as an intelligent being, and our climate ally.

“Having Deloitte on board has been a huge step forward for us and, thanks to their 5 Million Futures Programme, we can work with schools and charities across the country to educate about the hugely important role whales play in helping the ocean absorb carbon and mitigate the threat of climate and ecological breakdown.”

Team with Hope