Reconomy, the UK’s leading provider of outsourced recycling and resource management services, recently funded and partnered with ‘The Lionheart Challenge’ Enterprise and Community Programme and local Secondary School.
The Lionheart Programme, which has been delivered to over 400,000 pupils throughout the UK, brings students together to produce and present a comprehensive business proposal including HR, Finance and Marketing.
Trained business coaches, supported by 10 representatives from Reconomy, worked with over 80 Year 10 pupils at the Holy Trinity Academy in Priorslee, Telford, to identify local community issues and develop a viable Community Action Project. Students really impressed the Reconomy team with their awareness of the difficulties faced by many in their local community, identifying 21 different groups. From this list, those living with a disability, young people, mental health, the homeless and LGBT were focused on.
At the end of the day, the plans were presented to a panel of judges from Reconomy’s senior management team and a school Governor. Winners were chosen for each of the key business disciplines as well as awards for ‘Pupil of the Day’ and an ‘Overall Concept’ winner. The Overall Concept prize went to a Community Action Project designed to support young people with terminal illnesses and provided them with peer support to help them live as normal life as possible. Judges were impressed with the commercial viability of the project, the potential marketing mix and the plan’s potential to attract commercial sponsorship and support.
Commenting on the day Reconomy’s Head of Sustainability and Social Value, Diane Crowe, said: “This was a really valuable experience for our volunteers and for the pupils. It was amazing to hear their ideas and their enthusiasm for wanting to help the community. We were delighted to coach these young people who gained valuable business and employability skills. Engaging with children through schools is an important part of our social value plan and a natural fit with our volunteering and intern programmes. In addition to providing practical skills it also starts to build recognition of the of the waste and recycling sector and can help us identify future talent.”
Feedback from the pupils was equally positive with 82% feeling that they had developed skills that would help them apply for a job or start work. Comments from students at the end of the day included “I have learned business skills - the most important being communication” and “It boosted my confidence to speak in public”. This short film gives a fantastic insight to the day - click here to watch.
RSVP - Reconomy’s Social Value Programme is an integral part of the Group’s overall Sustainability Strategy designed to develop an increasingly value driven approach to sustainability. A key strand is community volunteering and local engagement, such as working with schools to build long term relationships, invest in young people and help them develop skills they will need later in life and business.