We were delighted to welcome the ThinkForward organisation to our Folkestone Girls Grammar School construction project in August 2019, to provide an Insight Day for their students. This is the second time we have supported ThinkForward, having facilitated a similar event at one of our residential projects in Dartford last year.

Insight day at Folkestone Girls Grammar School

Date: August 2019

ThinkForward work with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds that are identified as being most at risk of unemployment, based on a scoring mechanism that measures attainment, behaviour, attendance and other factors such as being in care or on free school meals. The mentoring programme lasts for 5 years and starts for students aged 13.

Clinton Dunn, Site Manager at Folkestone Girls Grammar School, prepared a comprehensive and interactive day of activities for the students and their support workers, segregated safely from the main area of construction work that was still in operation.

To prepare the students for the day ahead, a health and safety briefing was held, PPE allocated and an overview of Jenner provided along with information on the wide range of employment roles available in the construction sector.

Supported by our directly-employed trades people and plumbing and electrical subcontractors, Clinton created separate work stations for the students to gain practical, hands-on experience of the different trade opportunities available on a major construction site. This included electrics, plumbing, bricklaying, carpentry (where the students made their own bird boxes), painting (where the bird boxes were completed, to some rather unique designs) as well as a ‘spot the hazard’ health and safety quiz.

Clinton completed the day with a tour of the construction site, detailing the work undertaken to date, the next stages planned and the ultimate use of the building. Along with refreshments and lunch, the students were provided with Jenner ‘souvenirs’ including a mug, pen, pencil, key-ring and a branded stick of rock!

It was very pleasing to have two young ladies attend the day and we were very reassured that some of the young men were still as keen to continue their preferred bricklaying career choice, having laid a few courses of bricks with us! There was great enthusiasm for all the trades demonstrated and we were hugely appreciative to our subcontractors for their patience and participation on the day.

We look forward to working with ThinkForward again soon and continuing our work with vulnerable individuals.