Now that the summer holidays are in full swing, we’ve had time to look back and reflect on our incredibly busy Summer term! The last term of the academic year is always a busy time for us, with all our delivery teams cramming in as many programmes as possible before the long summer break.
Our secondary work-related learning team had a hectic but productive Summer term, delivering an impressive range and number of programmes for secondary students across Hackney and Camden.
Through their one-day programmes alone, they reached over a thousand local young people. These included enterprise days, such as Custom Made, employability sessions like You’re Hired!, financial literacy sessions such as Money Matters, and careers fairs, like our Careers in the City event at the Tomlinson Centre.
All of Inspire!’s work-related learning programmes are facilitated by volunteers, and over the Summer term 155 were recruited and trained to support delivery in schools. We were particularly grateful to several companies from a range of sectors, including Willmott Dixon, Lexis Nexis, Lloyds Banking Group and Clear Channel, who carried out extensive internal recruitment to find large numbers of volunteers to help us run the term’s events. Thanks to their support for our mission and work, we were able to introduce young people to a truly diverse group of role models.
All of our generous volunteers give their time, skills and experience because they share our belief that work-related learning is vital to ensure the future success of young people – but they also have a lot of fun! “Keeps me feeling young!” said one of the 24 volunteers who supported our Perfect Pitch enterprise programme at Hampstead School. Other volunteers had different motivations for getting involved with our work: “It’s a great cause,” said one, “and I wanted to motivate, encourage and inspire young people”; another wanted “to do something that would give back to the community – to feel like I’ve contributed.” All our volunteers can justifiably feel that they’ve done just that.
Some volunteers enjoyed the experience so much, they supported us twice in the same term! A special thank you to Matt of Fried Frank and Mahendra of the British Library for their efforts, and to all our repeat volunteers over the last academic year.
Giving any amount of time to take part in our programmes can provide a valuable boost to volunteers’ skills. “The programme helped with my supervision and presentation skills,” one volunteer told us after supporting our Custom Made programme. “I picked up things that I could use in my day-to-day life, like finance and branding skills,” said another.
For one volunteer, supporting our Get Ready for Work Experience programme at Haggerston School had a special significance. “It was a great experience to go back to my secondary school to see the changes,” said Excelian employee Adenike, “and also give back to a school that gave me a great start in my career and life in general.”
Our Summer term programmes also got a fantastic response from students:, following our Careers Day for Clapton Girls’ Academy Year 12 students (kindly hosted by Linklaters LLP), 100% told us the session had made them feel more confident about successfully applying for a job in future. After taking part in You’re Hired!, 100% of Year 10 students at the City Academy, Hackney said they had a better understanding of how their own skills and qualities can match up with the requirements of different jobs.
We were thrilled to receive some fantastic individual feedback from students, too. Following our Custom Made event at Our Lady’s Convent High School, one Year 9 student told us that “when we presented it gave me an insight into how I could, in the future, present a business of my own”. A Year 12 student who took part in Get Ready for Work Experience at Haggerston School said “I was able to learn some of the skills that I
didn’t know I had”. After our Careers Carousel at William Ellis School, one happy student told us: “I loved it; it gave me inspiration for the future.”
“It’s been a brilliantly busy Summer term for the team,” said Samantha Dodd, Inspire!’s Senior Programme Manager. “We’ve had a fantastic time working with so many new and returning volunteers, and bringing the world of work to life for hundreds of local young people. We’re spending the summer holidays making our programmes even better and will be back with a bang in the Autumn term!”
We’d love to get more business volunteers involved in inspiring the next generation. To find out more about how you can get involved with our programmes for secondary schools, or any other aspect of our work, email us on email@example.com.