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Enterprising young people

Last night I attended the Nottinghamshire final of the annual Young Enterprise competition at Nottingham University. I try to go every year. It’s an inspiring evening. Rushcliffe has reached the final – as they do most years. They didn’t win this year but did earn the Environmental Award. The Sixth Formers involved had come up with the idea of making candles with special messages at the base and these messages only emerge when the candle has burnt down. Ingenious.

The overall winners were The Minster School. They had a similarly clever idea which involved creating a selection of jars with different contents in them. Very clever. The Becket School team had produced a book about the different foods that can be found in Nottingham- “Flavours of Nottingham”, Nottingham Girls High School were marketing a mug which could have messages written on the side, East Leake Academy set themselves up as Urban Gardeners and Ashfield School had set up a system which meant mobiles could be charged easily. Splendid ideas.

I was particularly impressed by the way the students approached the whole experience. Their very professional presentations explained how the idea had emerged, how they had worked as a team/company, how they had overcome problems and how they had learnt new skills. Each team was excellent. Any of them could have won. Once again I was left with a feeling that when young people are given the chance to do something demanding they respond superbly. This was a real life challenge and the students dealt with it remarkably well. The future of our society appears safe in their hands. And thanks to the advisors – the two Davids who give up lots of time but they want to. It’s appreciated.

Phil Crompton