Pictures from Phoenix High School, London are below
Build My Future is a new education, health and wellbeing programme for 13/14 year olds, made possible by a GE Foundation grant. Build My Future uses business volunteers and fun practical activities to enable young people to discover that a balance and strength in four important aspects of life can help build success and happiness. The four aspects of life are:
Build My Future was developed in response to concerns over critical issues facing young people in Britain today. A quarter of 11-14s in the UK have a low estimation of their wellbeing. Teenagers are increasingly anxious about their future, and too many suffer from poor self-esteem. These factors along with declining social mobility are recognised causes of poor achievement. The target age group of 13/14 is deemed to be the point at which a person's aspirations become fixed and when they make major choices for their future. This programme aims to imbue them with greater self-belief.
Volunteers run an exciting one day event in schools. Students work in teams of six with one volunteer to explore the four elements – expertise, health, citizenship and socialising – in detail.
They take part in three activities, as follows:
Activity 1 is a card game about life. Playing as a team, the young people create a fictional character who experiences many life events that the young people themselves will face. Its life story is built from age 13 to 25.
Activity 2 is where the students create a life-size puppet entity that reflects the character and its life story. The students create, decorate and script their puppet.
The final activity is a presentation. The young people must convey the character and its life story to memorably affirm the day's learning objective for everyone.
The volunteers' role is to help deliver the day alongside the lead facilitator. They will share their own experiences of the four elements, run the mechanics of the card game, ensure the young people work well as a team during the puppet making activity, 'interview' the puppet in the presentation activity and award prizes. The lead volunteer will also be responsible for setting up the event with the chosen school and measuring the programme's impact.