Envision runs a 10 month programme called Community Apprentice, which encourages young people to engage in the issues they see in their community and to make a difference to them through their own social action projects, whilst gaining key employability skills at the same time. It’s a competition across Bristol, where teams from 10 schools compete to make the biggest social impact and best develop their skills.
This year at Merchants’ Academy Sixth Form students are taking part in the programme. The group has split into two teams, tackling their two issues which are Drugs and Alcohol and Child Poverty. Having decided on their issues, the teams are now embarking on their project planning, before they will have to pitch their project to a panel of ‘Dragons’ on 2nd December at the Pitch Event.
Along the way, the students are getting help from corporate volunteers from Lloyds Bank, who give up their time to coach the young people through the planning, pitching and skills development.
Wednesday 11th November saw the teams meeting their corporate coaches for the first time. The event was a huge success, with both young people and coaches learning and gaining a lot. After getting to know each other, the students were encouraged to think about the skills the coaches needed in their roles, and to identify key skills they wanted to work on, and actions to help them in this. They also received help with project planning and the projects are starting to take a really exciting shape!
The teams left the coaching session with some key actions to pursue, having identified what their priorities are and how they can best accomplish their goals as a team. The students will now be planning their project and pitch in sessions before the Pitch Event – it’s an exciting time to be involved in Envision!
For more information about Envision and Community Apprentice please visit www.envision.org.uk