A group of 27 students presented their ideas for social action projects to Skanska leaders at Maple Cross in August.
The local students, aged 16 and 17, pitched their ideas about how to raise awareness of local issues to a dragon’s den consisting of Director of Environment Jennifer Clark, Project Director David Jones and Technical Services Director Andy MacAskill.
A number of Skanska employees supported the day, including Matt Storey, Matt Burridge, Angie Prior, Thomas Philburn and Terry Muckian who spoke to the students about what it is like to work for Skanska. Joy Krogdahl, Sam Reed, James Mitchell, Frankie Jones and Sally Dawson spent time mentoring the students, developing their presentations and helping them to prepare their pitches.
The event was organised by Skanska’s charity partner Groundwork, as part of National Citizen Service. This initiative aims to provide an insight into the business world and provides opportunities to meet people from different backgrounds and develop confidence, communication and management skills.
Before visiting Skanska, 10 of the students had never been into an office before. By the end of their visit, 75 per cent of the visiting students said they would consider a career in construction, and 80 per cent said they had learnt more than four skills as part of the day, including communication skills and working with others.
PA and volunteer mentor Joy Krogdahl said: “I really enjoyed working with my three students and I learnt a lot about myself at the same time as I mentored them. It was a great day.”
Aaron Carver said: “I learnt a lot on the day – lots of presentation skills and confidence boosters. It taught me not to be afraid to go for what I want.”
Kimberly Coulson said: “My mentor was a huge help and I now realise it doesn’t have to be perfect, we just need to be confident.”
Rosie Penn said: “I now know how to look at a presentation from a different perspective and deliver a message effectively.”
The winning group was DARE – a project to raise awareness of domestic violence – which received £50 from National Citizen Service to make their project reality. The runner up – The Big Clean Up – a litter-pick project – received a donation of printing services for promotional flyers and personal protective equipment (PPE) donated by Greenhams.