Six dedicated first year students at Franklin Sixth Form College who are part of the national Career Ready programme volunteered to run a project in collaboration with Hull University to deliver PPE Face shields within the local community.
Career Ready is just one of the many enrichment programmes that we run at Franklin Sixth Form College as part of our nationally praised Centre for Professional Development. These students normally take part in a 4-6 week internship over the summer in a variety of local organisations but due to the current pandemic, instead took part in a virtual internship.
Working closely as a team, attending many virtual meetings with the Lead Engineer at Hull University, the students each took responsibility for an area and made contact with organisations that they identified would benefit from the PPE. This project really helped the students develop key employability skills and took them out of their comfort zone. They each had to speak to lead professionals within these organisations, handle a large volume of emails, and coordinate their requests, all whilst still adapting to online learning at college.
The result was that the students identified and dispatched the most PPE face shields out of 14 schools and colleges within North and North East Lincolnshire delivering almost 1000! It is fair to say that the students have really helped many of our key care workers in a time of need and will each individually have gained some invaluable skills that will help them in the future.
Emma Bateman, 1st year student at Franklin Sixth Form College speaks of her own experience of the project:
‘The coronavirus pandemic is the subject of most news features and has got the majority of young people talking. Many young people desperately want to help fight this virus and support our local key-workers but don’t know how or where they can. Fortunately, a small group of us from Franklin Sixth Form College were given an opportunity by Hull University to distribute PPE to those in need.
Hull University have been working hard to produce reusable, plastic face shields to distribute to key-workers in Humberside and the surrounding areas. Our role in the project was to identify the key-workers in our local area - care workers, volunteers, pharmacies etc. and to inform them of the project and its aims and liaise with them on a number of occasions to organise quantities, delivery and points of contact. This information was then passed onto our team leader from Hull University who arranged the PPE into boxes for each location.
Whilst the project has been massively rewarding, as a team and as individuals we have faced a number of challenges, including, finding enough volunteer drivers to help deliver the face shields, arranging collection from the college, staggering the drivers arrivals at college to adhere to social distancing and organising an accessible and coordinated delivery schedule and communicating with a variety of new people over the phone or via email.
Despite these challenges we have all thoroughly enjoyed the project and communicating as part of a team and as individuals to a project leader. The organisation skills and confidence we have developed over this project has allowed us to flourish in new situations and environments that we have never experienced before. The highlight of this project is knowing that we have helped do our part to help our key-workers in their time of need and we thank them for their endless courage in the face of the unknown.’
At Franklin we are very proud of our students for supporting this fantastic project in conjunction with the University of Hull. We were eager to be part of this fantastic cause as we work hard to support our community of young people during this time it was fantastic to be able to give thanks to our key workers. It’s very humbling that our students are also taking pride in helping to support local heroes as we work to support people where we can at this challenging time. We wish everyone well.