“Won’t somebody please think of the children!” – that’s what Helen Lovejoy said in the now totally famous sentence from the hit animated show The Simpsons. You’d be forgiven for thinking that was something someone at All About Food had said, after a few of our folks gave up a morning of their time to help out at a local careers fair at Upholland High School, Skelmersdale.

 

Whilst our day job is helping sell our delicious sauces and great crisps and excellent burgers, we also have one eye on helping our local community, getting involved in various initiatives and schemes that give benefit to our local area. And that’s exactly what Dan, Kirsty and Eve did a few weeks ago and we’ve got the scoop on what went down.

I’m sure we all remember how difficult it was choosing what direction you wanted to go as an adult when you were still only in high school. Picking subjects to match these dreams is tricky too, so getting a chance to sit down with the year 9s of Upholland School gave us a chance to help them with a bit of perspective going into their final years of school.

The day started by setting up a stall in the main hall, where we were joined by other groups such as collages and local businesses, all looking to lend a hand where they could. There would be 3 sessions, with 45 students attending a speed dating-style 5 minute chat, moving clockwise throughout the stalls across the room. There were 5 pupils per group, all with pre-prepared questions, all with the idea of giving each student added context of the world of work and life. And with our experience in finance, sales and supply chain on hand to help, we were ready to tackle the day ahead.

The great thing about doing these events – of which we’ve done a few before – is that we get to help add a little meat to the bones of what exactly it takes to enter the world of work. Sometimes, this doesn’t mean education, but at the age these kids were, we were able to help answer the questions they had with added context from inside AAF. Questions were asked about working hours, pay and taxes and the worth of education and experience. All are really important parts of working life, and helping these youngsters with examples of what we do and some personal stories will go on to help massively, we’re sure.

Like with most groups that age, some were more forthcoming with the questions than others, some were shyer than others, and some were more forward about asking for freebies than others – one pupil even made a verbal beeline for our Hot Peri-Peri sauce that we’d brought to show them, saying that he “really loved hot Nando’s sauce” and that he “wishes he had some at home” – suffice to say, Kirsty let him take the bottle away as a prize. If you don’t hint, you don’t get. That kid’s going to go far!

These sessions went on from 9am – 1pm, and involved way over 200 students. It was wonderful to ask what type of jobs they want to do when they grow old. What’s great about that age-group is that no dream is too big. Shouts of ‘footballer!’, ‘rugby player!’ and ‘graphic designer!’ were made, and many shouts of great professions such as plasterers and plumbers because of the work their parents do. As expected, some pupils weren’t really sure what they wanted to do, but we hope we helped in some way with putting ourselves in a position to answer their questions.

With a wonderful day out of the office, Dan summed it up right when we spoke to him about what he felt about taking part in the morning of sessions:

“It’s really great to be able to help young people from the local area. I was a little nervous going into the event, as I only found out the day before that I was needed, but it was really enjoyable speaking with the kids and seeing what they thought went into the jobs we do, and what being an adult was like. Because many didn’t know what they wanted to do, they said that we added a little more information to their thought-process in regards to their future”

Amen Dan. What more can we do but help?