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Learning to Work are thrilled to once again be delivering the Prince’s Trust (South East) Enterprise Challenge in the local area. The challenge is normally delivered in school with the support of business mentors but sadly this has not been the case this year. With adaptation being the world of the year LTW adapted delivery to ensure there was minimal impact on the programme. 
 
The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Challenge is a national competition delivered locally by LTW and hugely supported by trained business mentors. It enables students to: 
 
• Develop their confidence and aspirations for what they can achieve 
• Increase their understanding of the world of work and their ability to have a positive impact on their wider community and society 
• Build important skills: team work, decision making, problem solving, communication, creative thinking and resilience 
 
The programme was delivered by LTW over 6 hours and students participated in teams of 4/5, they were guided and supported to find out more about running a business and then put through their paces as they participated in a business simulation game. Based on the concept of a pop-up shop, the game put students in charge of the conception and running of a new start-up micro-business. From choosing what to sell and for how much, to where to set-up shop and how to attract customers – it was up to each team to build hype, get sales and make a profit. Teams needed to make a profit, but as importantly they also needed to grasp the concept of developing an ethical and sustainable business, with high values and customers at the heart of their decision making. 
 
Over the last couple of months 90 teams entered the competition, but only the top 3 would make it to the Regional Finals on Wednesday 30th June. The winning line up consisted of teams from Windsor Girls’ School (in Windsor, pictured left below), Grove Academy (in Slough, pictured right below) and Churchmend School (in Datchet, large photo below). 
The Regional Final delivered on Wednesday 30th June was hugely supported by volunteers from VMWare as they invited students to join them virtually for the day. The event was very much a day of two halves! Initially students shared their Community Start-Up business idea and then they were quizzed by a panel of judges. Then during the afternoon students heard first-hand about VMware, their products, their values, their entry level requirements and most importantly their people, as they were introduced to a variety of staff who took them through their roles within the company. 
 
The finalists were fantastic and all contributed enormously to the event. At the end of the presentations the judges met to deliberate over each entry as they discussed each of the ideas, presentation content and student involvement. After much discussion the judges were unanimous in their decision and awarded, Chloe Herring, Peter Fitzpatrick, Poppy Harrington and Rhys Ferris-Waring from Churchmead School in Datchet this year’s Prince’s Trust (South East) Enterprise Challenge winners for 2021. 
 
The winning idea from Team Churchmead: Students came up with an idea to use the food waste from the canteen, compost it and make our very own Churchmead Soil. This would be packaged in recyclable bags, (which they have costed and researched), and then branded with our school logo and this Mustard seed parable: 
 
“It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.” - Luke 13:19 
 
Once packaged, students would sell Churchmead soil to local garden centres, local schools, (to encourage them to grow fresh produce), local farms and to charities who support mental health by encouraging/organising agricultural work for people. The soil would also be used by Churchmead to grow produce to sell in the school canteen. 
 
Their vision was that an idea as small as a seed could flourish into a business that promotes sustainability, reduces food waste, and develops our act of stewardship. They would plan to have to Eco Ambassadors run this project too. 
 
“This is a fantastic outcome for our students, it was a great opportunity for Churchmead to celebrate the enterprising talent within the school. We are also grateful to the Prince's Trust, Learning to Work and VMWare for organising and supporting the event.” Chris Tomes, Headteacher 
 
“It was such a great experience and our team worked so well together. We are really proud of our business idea, and we felt confident with our pitch. Thank you to our teachers for supporting us and to the organisers. We are so grateful that we had the opportunity to take part!" Poppy Harrington, Year 9 
 
VMware quote: “It was a privilege to join Learning to work in hosting the Princes Trust Enterprise Challenge Regional Final 2021. The teams were passionate, confident and had really thought through their business plans and able to confidently answer questions on the spot from the judges. 
 
Having worked with Learning to Work for several years supporting the Princes Trust Enterprise challenge and other initiatives with local schools including virtual work experience, business insight days and CV clinics, it’s very rewarding to give back to the community and to see the progress that the students make and we hope that at least some of the students are the future of the UK Tech industry.” 
 
“We are thrilled once again to partner The Prince’s Trust to deliver the Enterprise Challenge locally. Once again the calibre of entries was very high and the business volunteers supportive, enthusiastic and full of motivational praise and advice, another winning combination for LTW and great outcome for a local school” Nancy Lalor Operations Director Learning to Work 
 
 
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