From Generation to Generation
We had three new - and very welcome - helpers with us in July.
We were delighted to be asked to be involved in the national Career Ready initiative that gives senior secondary pupils mentoring and experience of different workplaces, allowing them to gain valuable skills and knowledge.
The programme works on the premise that every young person, regardless of background, deserves the opportunity to kick-start a rewarding career, and also supports young people who potentially face the most barriers in education and employment and whose talents often go overlooked and undiscovered.
Here's what we learned when we asked our three young people about their time with us:
they didn't know about our project before they came but were interested to see how many roles we have and that the contents of the Community Fridge and Wardrobe are for everyone, not just those in need
they enjoyed meeting people, interacting with the community and helping with the project
they were surprised by how big our project is and how much food we save from going to waste, and how much difference this makes to saving the environment
they didn't care too much for the long hours! We feel their pain. They were on their feet most of the day.
they learned a lot about sustainability, and had their eyes opened as to how their day-to-day lives affect the world around them. They learned that methane gas is more harmful to the environment than CO2
they gave us excellent suggestions on now to spread the word about our project and encourage more people to come to the Fridge and the Wardrobe and gave us a lovely sentence, "Don't be shy or ashamed of coming in and taking what you want or need, you're saving the environment"
they felt the knowledge they gained about how to help save the planet and the experience of engaging with people will help them in their future careers
So, it looks as though these three have learned as much about sustainability as they have about the world of work.If they go on to take our values into their future workplaces, we are all winners.
In turn, we learned from them too. We consider ourselves very lucky that in our team of staff and volunteers we have a wide age range, so we benefit from so many different life experiences and accumulated wisdom as well as youthful enthusiasm and current thinking. We have a handful of volunteers who are still at school, and love the fresh ideas they bring to us. Our three young people (see how we are claiming them as ours!) helped us to see things anew and reminded us why we still love this project so much.
If you ever find yourself feeling a big jaded, we recommend you talk to young people about why you do what you do to save the planet and you will find that their passion will re-ignite your spark.