Thanks to the lovely people at the Royal Victoria Place in Tunbridge Wells, we were able to open and run our own pop-up shop in the shopping centre. This was a fantastic opportunity to give our learners the chance to experience something new, whether that’s travelling to somewhere they’ve never been before, meeting and talking to new people or experiencing a day in the life of a shop assistant.

The enterprise team worked over many weeks to make all of the products that were on sale. They learnt many new skills such as learning how to use a heat press to produce T-shirts and other personalised items such as baby grows. The learners collectively sourced, and cost managed the materials needed in the whole production process.

Our shop was open from Monday 3rd – Sunday 23rd October inclusive. During this time, our priorities were to showcase The Oaks Specialist College, to make our community aware of our wonderful learners and to give as many of them the opportunity to experience a ‘day at work’; and if we made a few pennies to re-invest into future Enterprise Projects, then that would be a bonus.

55 learners took part in this event. It enhanced many parts of their usual weekly curriculum including both core subjects, Maths and English. Having to use many of their employability skills, which they are taught within college, in a real-life environment helped the learners to embed these skills and give them true meaning.

It was a wonderful event, and the learners thoroughly enjoyed every element.