Project Centre Attend HeadStart Action Showcase

Project Centre Attend HeadStart Action Showcase

HeadStart Action is a project that provides support for youths in disadvantaged areas by aiding personal development and introduces them to social action. Last year, we were proud to host an employability workshop for young GCSE students of St. Bonaventure’s School in Newham with a volunteer program called Groundwork, a part of Headstart Action.

Among learning critical life skills, they conceptualize and deliver a project that centres around a core social issue of their choice. In this case, they chose the prevalent issue of knife crime. We were able to discuss their ideas and lend our own expertise in stakeholder engagement to provide advice on how to best reach the public and what resources to use.

During the two days we visited, we were able to provide a few tips and tricks with interactive exercises that teach CV writing skills, interview practice, job hunting knowledge, critical judgement skills and how to adapt and improvise in a professional environment. This included a rundown of CV structures, dos and don’ts of interview behaviour and how to stand apart from the crowd. The competitive nature of job hunting means that those who are more prepared through practice are more likely to make the final cut. It is rare of schools to provide practical skills such as CV writing, so that when they try and enter the world of employment, they’re at a disadvantage.

As such, it was incredibly useful to get them thinking and involved with the process. By the end of the workshop, they were hosting their own mock interviews, critiquing and encouraging each other’s performances while also reviewing and editing real life CV’s into a more polished finished piece. It was an incredibly rewarding experience and we were delighted to see the engagement and enthusiasm of the students as they jumped straight into the activities.

To commemorate these efforts with HeadStart Action, we attended a showcase at City Hall, where young people, businesses and stakeholders gathered to celebrate the successful expanded programme which covers Southwark, Hackney, Haringey, Newham and Westminster. Among the presentations on the depth of the student’s social plans that they implemented, Project Centre’s Engagement Consultant Jack Dean was invited onto the stage for a Q&A panel. We were delighted to see Jack speak about the innovation and drive he witnessed first hand at the employability workshops and also to see the immediate transformation of disenfranchised youth into young, vibrant individuals. It was a pleasure to attend and we hope to continue being a resource for HeadStart Action.