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Inspiring Young Minds Through School Design Project

|14 February 2019
Over the past few months some of our team have collaborated with Ahead Partnership to deliver a design challenge for schools. We worked with students from schools within Leeds to share an insight to our business and industry. We also wanted to help them gain valuable skills that we hold dear to our culture, such as working as a team and challenging ourselves to leave our comfort zone and learning new skills.
Challenging creativity
We set them a challenge to work together in groups of six to design a home for a pre-determined customer profile with a set budget. They had to consider location and community needs, internal floorplan layout, costs and interior design options. We visited their schools and spent a day hosting workshops to inspire them and share our knowledge. The day finished with them presenting their initial ideas. We then chose the best two teams from each school to join us at our Doncaster head office in January, where they worked with us to refine their designs and presentations before the grand finale. We created a Dragon’s Den style setting in the Academy, with our CEO Andrew Weaver, COO Vernon Cunningham and MD Gemma Smith being the ‘dragons’ and having the difficult decision of choosing a winning team.
“We were incredibly impressed by the way the students had taken all the advice on board and their presentation content and confidence had improved considerably since the workshops at their school,” says Gemma.
Positive repercussions
After the event, the students gave us some feedback, and we are really pleased with the response. 100% of the students said the experience helped them to think about their own goals, and increased their understanding of how to get into different careers. 95% also said it improved their problem solving and communication skills, and made them feel more confidence and optimistic about the future.
It is clear we made a significant difference, they learned a lot, and hopefully we inspired them to consider a career in our industry in the future. We are planning to take this schools engagement project to Wakefield and Burton later this year.
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