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Enterprising help for school’s pupils

Young chocolate makers Owen Southern, Adam Wilson and Ethan Grey, all of Bedlingtonshire High School, sell their wares to Christmas shoppers.

Young chocolate makers Owen Southern, Adam Wilson and Ethan Grey, all of Bedlingtonshire High School, sell their wares to Christmas shoppers.

An enterprise project which has helped young people learn new skills and confidence for a potential dream career is celebrating its first anniversary.

In the last 12 months, 87 pupils from schools in Northumberland have gained new employability skills, increasing their chances of pursuing the career they want, after taking part in Skills to Shine’s Enterprise Project.

Young people gained new found confidence as they became businesspeople, running and stocking their own department store in Blyth and selling their wares to the public.

They made chocolate, Victorian-style gifts and hand-carved wooden animals as well as studying the nutritional value of healthy food with Northumbria University, before selling their goods to shoppers at a ‘pop-up store’ in Blyth’s Keel Row shopping centre.

Not-for-profit social enterprise Skills to Shine works with a host of local businesses to give children the confidence and skills they need to help them achieve their employment goals.

Bedlingtonshire Community High School pupil Amy Hall said: “I thought that the project was great fun. During the project we have developed new skills to use everyday, such as communication, teamwork and leadership. I would love to do it again.”

​Shirley Hindmarsh, teacher at Ashington High School, said: “I have seen so many students use skills and show qualities that I didn’t know they had. I have seen so many develop their personal skills and qualities and grow in confidence as the projects have progressed.”

​Skills to Shine managing director Lindsey Dunn said: “Seeing the transition of the young people from being disengaged at the beginning, and then completely engaged at the end with visibly improved skills and wanting to do more, is fantastic. Their enthusiasm, enterprise and talent really is inspiring.”

 

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