The kids are alright

Posted on March 13, 2019


Everyone at Clearbox has the opportunity to take one of the three lifestyle packages offered as part of our Smells Like Team Spirit culture; The Inspiration Package, The Volunteering Package or The Parent Package. 

We believe happy people create good work and these packages are designed to support the team’s mental and physical wellbeing while supporting our people in helping causes that are close to their hearts.

The volunteering package is particularly popular and over the last few months, John on our team used several days to work with Young Enterprise NI. Here’s what he got up to…

I’ve always been a big fan of our volunteer days, having used them in the past to help a brilliant local charity called Tinylife, an organisation that supports mums and dads of severely premature babies. 

Last year, I decided to work with another charitable organisation called Young Enterprise NI. 

Young Enterprise works in schools across Northern Ireland (and the UK) to encourage and inspire pupils to think about one day running their own business. It’s the sort of thing I wish we’d had when I was a pupil. I am also keen to help at least one boy or girl not make a complete mess of their education in the way that I did, so teaming up with Young Enterprise ticked a lot of boxes for me. 

I was signed up to go into my old school, Cambridge House in Ballymena, to work with several different year groups over a three day programme aimed at sparking an interest in entrepreneurship. 

The boys and girls took part in a number of games and activities that taught them about branding, the importance of marketing, how to negotiate, how to design a product and key financial jargon like turnover, tax and profit. 

I wasn’t really sure what I was walking into - it’s been a while since I was in a school envoirnment - but honestly, I had a great time and got so much out of it. 

I met some really bright kids with ideas that ranged from the strange to the sublime. My favourite - when asked to design a board game - one group came up with a game that was called Fight Shrek for your Dole where you…erm…fought Shrek for your dole. 

Now, I’m not suggesting that it’ll ever get made but that kind of random, out of the box thinking is something that we’re big on at Clearbox because it can spark so many other random and brilliant ideas, so well done to the group that came up with that one. There was also a group who designed a new water product called Ballymena Hi-dration. If you know, you know. 

The pupils were also involved in a game where they bought beads, made bracelets from them and then sold them to a shopkeeper, trying to make a profit. The noise was akin to the trading floor on Wall Street, with deals being made all over the place. Watching them haggle for materials and cope with the fluctuating price of goods was really good fun and they seemed to enjoy themselves and learn something in the process. 

The three days I spent in the school allowed me to meet with lots of young people who I know are destined for great things. 

I’m looking forward to more volunteering with Young Enterprise this year and wish the year groups who are sitting exams and mock exams the best of luck.