On the 2nd of March, 30 students from Admiral Lord Nelson School and Mayfield School were set the 2022 ‘Made in Portsmouth challenge’ by Ahead Partnership, Landsec and Gunwharf Quays: to create their own designs, pitches, and social media campaign launches for a reusable water bottle that reflects the Portsmouth community.
The challenge is part of Gunwharf Quays’ social value programme in partnership with Ahead Partnership which aims to help local young people develop their employability skills for the world of work and learn face-to-face from local employers.
Upon launching the challenge, the Gunwharf Quays Centre Management Team thoroughly enjoyed leading and mentoring students through engaging workshops on marketing, sales, and sustainability. Together with an energetic, hands-on site tour of Gunwharf Quays, these sessions provided inspiration, motivation, guidance, and encouragement for the project ahead. The students then returned to their schools with five weeks to hone their ideas and develop their own plans.
On the 8th of April, the students professionally presented and pitched their ideas to a panel of judges, competing for the winning place. Yvonne Clay, Centre Director at Gunwharf Quays, was joined on the judging panel by Stephen Morgan MP, Labour MP for Portsmouth South and Shadow Minister for Education & Schools, Jamie Taylor, Head of Property Operations for Landsec, and Alan Knight, legendary goalkeeper and club ambassador for Portsmouth Football Club. The entire pitching process provided the competitors with valuable experience of teamworking, creative business development and corporate environmental practices.
As the official winners, Team Welfare from Mayfield School will now have their reusable water bottle produced and the opportunity to sell it to Gunwharf Quays’ guests this summer, with all proceeds going to local charities.
Yvonne Clay, Centre Director at Gunwharf Quays, commented: “‘We have been amazed by the creativity and innovative thinking shown by the students from Admiral Lord Nelson School and Mayfield School. All the entries were fantastic, but Team Welfare from Mayfield School was the winner after much deliberation from the judging panel. We look forward to supporting the winning team to produce and sell their reusable water bottles to our guests this summer.
“I would also like to thank Stephen Morgan MP, Jamie Taylor and Alan Knight for joining me on the judging panel. Their expertise within their fields and guidance enriched the competitors’ experiences and is much appreciated by everyone involved in this project”.
Emily McEleny, Social Sustainability Manager at Landsec, added: “We are proud to support Ahead Partnership and the ‘Made in Portsmouth’ initiative, empowering young people within our Portsmouth community to build their confidence, employability skills and awareness of careers in the retail sector.”
Georgina Johnson, Project Manager at Ahead Partnership, said: “We’re delighted to have delivered the ‘Made in Portsmouth’ challenge for a fourth year. The feedback we’ve received from the students demonstrates the importance of giving young people the opportunity to learn directly from employers, and we’re so grateful to the team at Gunwharf Quays for committing their time, wisdom and skills to support young people in their community with this interactive and creative challenge.
“It’s especially important that we give young people opportunities to visit and experience workplaces after long periods of lockdown to face the future with more confidence. We can’t wait to see the winning students selling their design which is sure to be another valuable learning opportunity.”