31 Mar

Last week I was delighted to tell you all about Aisha and her success at gaining employment at Plastics Direct….well, the good news doesn’t stop there! You may remember I also mentioned that Abdul was due to attend a trial shift at the Beefeater Pub last Friday. He has since had 3 more shifts at the pub and has now also gained permanent paid employment – Abdul you’re a superstar, congratulations!!

After a year on our own Bridging the Gap and just two terms of Future Finders, he has made us all very proud and his determination and hard work have paid off. Abdul is not the only student to get paid work this week, though! Nicola, another of our Future Finders students, has also gained employment this week as a cleaner at a local primary school. Again, Nicola has worked so incredibly hard over the past year and a half as a student on Bridging the Gap at the Royal Oldham Hospital and then as a Future Finders intern – here she is just 6 months ago with Aisha as they started on our Future Finders course..

Nicola attended an interview and trial earlier this week and was instantly offered a job, absolutely fantastic! That makes 4 jobs offered to our amazing students in 1 week – myself and our team of job coaches are incredibly proud of them all and we look forward to supporting the rest of our students into work next term.

Although the young people at Horizons will be in as usual over the next fortnight, today was the last day of term for our pathways and Future Finders students and we celebrated with our coffee morning. It was lovely to see so many parents and family members attend – definitely our busiest morning at Medtia Square to date…

At Horizons this week, Gary’s group have been working on their job skills with Adam practising his receptionist skills answering the phones..

They have been working hard at the Link Centre..

..and enjoyed a trip out to the Trafford Centre..

They had fun making their own Easter treats..

..and Brandon has started a new art project – watch this space for the finished design..

Jeff’s group have had another busy week maintaining our building and this week they have been cleaning the benches so that our young people can sit and enjoy the sunshine..

The group have also been out and about in Oldham visiting local parks and they even popped into the travel agent to research places that they would like to go to on holiday..

Hayley and Shelly’s groups teamed up this week to enjoy a fun session at Ability Wheelz..

Both groups have also been busy making Easter crafts and goodies..

Hayley’s group have also enjoyed a lively and rather loud music session!

Emma’s group have been busy too, making the most of the glorious sunshine..

..and practising their Living Skills..

..which, of course, includes making something tasty..

Coffee morning was also a great opportunity for our DIGIT4LL students to share their good news! I’ll let Mr Bright fill you in on the details..

Wow, what a week on the IT Pathway! Where do I begin? We’ve had such a busy week. As many of you will be aware, DIGIT4LL run two enterprises and the students lead on every aspect of them. One of these enterprises is New Bridge Printers and this week has seen the culmination of a several weeks of hard work. As you can see from some of the pictures below, the students have demonstrated skills in a wide range of areas. They started by deciding on selling Mother’s Day and Easter chocolate filled mugs and wine glasses. They did their research and shopped for chocolates, cellophane, decorative tissue, ribbon, etc. The students then promoted their products..

..whilst others worked in production..

Elsewhere Afsana and Sufyaan were packaging our chocolate filled Easter mugs..

..Josh and James were organising deliveries..

..and Brandon helped manage the finances..

When it came to selling their products the students have been trading at a range of different events including Tommyfield Indoor Market in Oldham town centre. Mr Handrick was very proud of all the students as they were meeting and greeting customers, putting on the charm with phrases such as “Excuse me, sir/madam”, “Alright love” and even “Hey, wanna buy some stuff?”

The New Bridge Printers enterprise is doing so well, they have made over £1500 so far! All the profit made goes directly to the shareholders of the enterprise which is made up of the students themselves, so they are seeing real value for their efforts.

New Bridge Productions is the second enterprise the students run and this week they earned money for producing an online video for the New Charter Group. This involved holding a business meeting with the client, finding out what was involved in the project and deciding on a fair price for the quotation. The entire class had a say in what they felt was a fair figure and it ranged from £10 to £10,000 but in the end common sense prevailed and they were successful in securing the job for £250. Take a look at the pictures from the shoot of the video this Wednesday..

Tom, Sufyaan, Luke and Reece all worked hard throughout the morning filming Darren, a boiler engineer at New Charter, as he presented on video. The guys were very professional and represented New Bridge superbly. This is the first of many other video projects lined up for the team, so watch this space!

Finally, I’ve saved the best until last….on Wednesday evening after a long day of trading, 5 students took part in the Young Enterprise Oldham Finals at Hulme Grammar. They had to set up a trade stand and answer questions from the judges about their business. Some of our young people at New Bridge can often find social interaction difficult with people they don’t know so it was a huge achievement to be able to interact with pupils from other schools and successful businessmen and women on the judging panel. It was a formal event and our young people were fantastic..

Later in the evening Tom, Luke and Mitchell delivered a 5 minute business presentation to everyone in the hall – over 100 people present, all eyes on our three students. This would be enough to make any of us have palpitations but for our young people it was utterly terrifying. I had my reservations about what I had thrown them into when in their practice run earlier on they froze and couldn’t speak. If that happened now it could dent their confidence for some time and before they walked up on to the stage I felt physically sick with nerves for them. As they uttered their first few words I felt every syllable and then it happened…they rose to the occasion and completely smashed it!!! They spoke with confidence, fluency and passion..

I was soooo proud of them, we all were. To top it off, they then won the award for the Best Presentation 2017. The students were buzzing! Tom didn’t believe it and Mitchell said “What, we actually won something?” This was a truly remarkable moment, competing against pupils from schools and colleges around the borough including Hulme Grammar, Oldham Academy North and Oldham Sixth Form College. What an achievement guys! I hope this gives them the confidence to keep testing themselves in the future. We are all so proud of you..

I’d like to thank Mr Slater and Mr Handrick for all their support in getting the students to a point where they could truly excel.

Congratulations to Mr Bright and his team of entrepreneurs!

The report we promised you last week from Lumenus with all the details of their performance earlier this month at the Oldham Coliseum is now available here. They have devised three different workshops to accompany the performance and to share their devising experience. If any primary schools in the Oldham area are interested in receiving one of these FREE performances and workshops they will be available on Thursdays from 28th April until the May half term – please contact Mrs Chappell via email to echappell@newbridgegroup.org for further information.

Along with our Future Finders and pathways students I will be off for a couple of weeks over Easter. I will be back with my next blog in a few weeks’ time.

Have a wonderful Easter,

Daniel
Director of Employment & Co Head of Site at Medtia Square

You can view our full blog here

Click here for this week’s news from Graham