On Wednesday 22 March, we braved the cold and wet Spring conditions to participate in Cirencester’s Youth Market.
The Youth Market, run by the E4 Group - Cirencester Deer Park and Kingshill Schools, Cirencester College and the Royal Agricultural University - with Cirencester Town Council is aimed at under 25s and is designed to encourage and promote young local enterprise.
Our stall ‘business’, Deer Park Designs’, is an upcycling project that SEN Learning Leader Mrs Reynolds has been working on with pupils in the Coaching Centre at lunchtimes. They have been producing gift items made from things that would otherwise have been thrown away.
Miss Brace, Assistant Head, said “The pupils have really done us proud today. I really appreciate the help that the Friends of Deer Park have given us by providing the start-up fund for the project. The creativity behind this comes from Mrs Reynolds, who has been working tirelessly for the past few months to work with the pupils to produce the items for this.”
A customer to our stall commented “that the students who helped me make my choices were very helpful and enthusiastic and they had some very nice things for sale. I hope the day was a successful one despite the weather.”
The pupils have made a profit and are now able to spend some of their profit on items for the Coaching Centre whilst also reinvesting into their business for the next event. In addition to the experience, we are very proud to have won the Best Stand Award - this was the icing on an already great day!
As part of the Youth Market, we were very glad to be able to showcase our school Steel Band who entertained the lunchtime shoppers with their music skill. The wonderful sound rippled through the town centre bringing a smile and even some dancing to the market place.
"The Deer Park Steel Band love any opportunity to perform and we were really pleased to be asked to perform as part of the Youth Market. Despite the inclement weather, we had a very appreciative audience and hope we brought a little bit of Caribbean sunshine to their day." Mr Cook, Music teacher
Although the Coaching pupils expected that running their own market stall was going to be great fun, they didn't realise that they were learning valuable life skills at the same time. They were earning money to buy pool cues for the Coaching Centre rather than just being given money. They were talking to people that they didn't know and handling money and working out prices and change. They all did incredibly well (especially with the awful weather) and I am very proud of them. I may even be nurturing some budding entrepreneurs as, to quote Ethan, "The £50 prize money for best stall is amazing but we'll have to invest some in our next project." I can't wait to find out what that will be!
Mrs Reynolds, SEN Learning Leader
Both our Steel Band and Deer Park Designs hope to be present at the Phoenix Festival at the end of August.