Charity

Sevenoaks School students help Oxfam appeal to the under 30s

A group of four students from Sevenoaks School have created a campaign for Oxfam to help the charity’s shop in Sevenoaks High Street appeal to a younger audience.

Following an initial meeting with the store manager of Oxfam in Sevenoaks, the Lower Sixth Form students conducted surveys amongst the target audience and compared the current store with other similar shops. Based on the findings, the students created and tested a social media campaign and suggested a new layout for the shop. The group also made recommendations on the products and brands that will appeal to young people and developed a campaign to encourage donations of these products.

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The group is part of “The Student Consultancy” project, a pilot programme from Oxford University that gives students the opportunity to use their individual skills and collaborate with their peers in a professional environment. Participants are presented with a real life business problem and tasked with finding a solution, much in the same way that Management Consultants are.

Sevenoaks School has been part of the pilot programme since the beginning of the school year in September 2016 and has incorporated the activity into the school’s Voluntary Service Unit (VSU). As part of the International Baccalaureate curriculum, the students complete weekly voluntary service activities and, combined, log over 30,000 hours of voluntary service every year, helping both the local community and causes further afield.

As well as supporting the development of a philanthropic conscience, the project has been created to help the students develop their business management skills and entrepreneurial thinking and, ultimately, prepare for the world of work.

Julie Redding, Director of Entrepreneurship at Sevenoaks School, said: “The students gained a huge amount from this programme in terms of exposure to the business environment, an understanding of real life problems and gaining work related experience in a far more interactive way than traditional work experience placements. It was interesting to see the students’ confidence grow over time, as they honed workplace skills such as making work-related phone calls, interacting with their clients and devising creative solutions.”

Peter Higgs, Oxfam Store Manager, Sevenoaks, comments: “’My experience of working with the students was completely positive. The level of skill and enthusiasm they displayed surpassed my expectations. They have provided me with credible analysis and practical solutions to help me grow the appeal of Oxfam’s Sevenoaks shop to a younger clientele.”

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