Port Solent recently funded and partnered with ‘The Lionheart Challenge’ Enterprise and Community Programme and Castle View Academy in Paulsgrove, to bring students together to produce a business proposal.
Castle View Academy’s 130-strong Year 9 students were split into non-friendship groups of 10 to form a business team. Each team had a business coach working with them to inspire and encourage them to deliver the challenge outcomes. The teams also had access to a panel of business experts which provided the teams with their knowledge, experience and expertise to assist them in putting together their team’s project proposal. These were compiled of Lorna Jackson from Advance and Get Noticed, Alice Fewings from Red Door Communications, Kerrie Morrison from Haven Wealth Management Ltd and Susan Johnson from Paulsgrove and Wymering Charitable Trust.
The challenge outcomes had to include an HR plan, an exciting practical idea for a real-life project concept, a financial plan, a marketing plan, a visual mockup of the concept and a formal business presentation to the panel of judges which included Port Solent’s General Manager Tim Keeping and marketing and events marketing Lisa Fowler, Councillor Jo Hooper, Donna Mitchell from Castle View Academy and Michael Pollock from the Lionheart Challenge.
The Lionheart Programme, which has been delivered to over 400,000 pupils throughout the UK, is designed for school pupils and aimed at nurturing them as future business leaders, responsible citizens and enterprising employees.
Castle View Academy students identified local community issues and worked to develop a viable Community Action Project. Students really impressed the Port Solent team with their awareness of the difficulties faced by many in their local community, identifying many different groups. From this list, those with teenage depression and mental health issues, those living with a disability, alcoholics, rehabilitation of ex-convicts and single parent support were focused on.
At the end of the day, the plans were presented to a panel of judges and winners were chosen for each of the key business disciplines as well as awards for ‘Pupil of the Day’ and an ‘Overall Concept’ winner. The Overall Concept prize went to a Community Action Project designed to promote healthy diet and lifestyles for teenagers in the area.
Port Solent’s Lisa Fowler said: “Both myself and Tim thoroughly enjoyed the experience with Castle View Academy and The Lionheart Programme. It was great to hear the students ideas and their enthusiasm for the local community while using our skills to coach the students on lots of elements of developing a campaign and idea.
Feedback from the pupils was equally positive with 82% feeling that they had developed skills that would help them apply for a job or start work. Comments from students at the end of the day included; “Building an idea for a business requires a lot of planning and brainstorming, and so having the helpers there, who were extremely friendly and open to helping us all day with the Challenge was brilliant. It was good because we got the opportunity to have an insight on what life is really like in a workplace,” and “We learnt about marketing, finance, teamwork, communication and how to manage a whole project. Over the course of today we have learnt to work with different people other than our friends. This involved trust, good communication and understanding each team member’s strengths to make sure our community project was the best it could possibly be.”