EBSI Primary and Secondary School Enterprise Challenges At Brunel University

EBSI had a great day working on the Brunel University Campus delivering two great events on behalf of Brunel University, who invite students from local schools every year to participate in these events.  The aim of the event is to widen participation and encourage students from low social-economic backgrounds to inspire to attend university.   The students not only spent the day planning and designing their product, they also got to go along to the University’s canteen to purchase their lunch with a voucher which was supplied and sat alongside the universities students to then enjoy their first university luncheon experience. 

On Friday 30th November 2018, Les Prior EBSI Project Officer worked alongside Gloria Cheng to deliver the Year 6 “If the Shoe fits Challenge”, which saw over 30 primary students from 6 schools attend the event.  The primary students were helped by Kyle and Chloe, two Student Ambassadors from Brunel.

On Tuesday 11th December 2018, Les was back in action working alongside Brunel’s Ambassadors as 40 Year 7 secondary school students from 4 schools took part in the Mini Van Challenge, and were joined by Brunel Ambassadors Naomi, Ali and Medina who provided a helping hand on the day.      

Both events are focused on giving primary students the opportunity to compete, but more importantly to learn about team work, finance in business, marketing products and how to be an Entrepreneur.

Feedback from the events

Gloria Cheng – Widening Access Officer from Brunel University stated “The events have been a great success and students really enjoyed themselves throughout the day. It was really lovely to see how engaged students were and how well they have worked together. They kept their cool and worked effortlessly, even when our ambassadors acting as buyers were being extra critical!”.

“Well organised, students seemed like they enjoyed themselves and I hope they have learnt something, thank you”.

“Thank you, a fantastic event for pupils to learn and have fun in a really safe environment”.

Brunel Ambassadors negotiating with students in the marketplace.
Brunel Ambassadors listening to student pitches in the marketplace.
Students designing their products and working on their pitches.

EMPLOYMENT FOR ALL ‘Breaking Down Barriers’ 15th November 2018

EBSI were invited to work alongside the High Sheriff of the Royal County of Berkshire, Graham Barker to host a conference called EMPLOYMENT FOR ALL – Breaking Down Barriers in November 2018.

The conference was intended to bring together companies who could demonstrate how social value delivers commercial value.  Speakers from Manpower Group, Argos, Recycling Lives and John Lewis and Partners, were in attendance and gave presentations with examples of business cases to illustrate how offering employment to those with a disability and ex-offenders can improve business practice.  Leonard Cheshire Chief Executive – Neil Heslop OBE, also spoke about working with the loss of his eye sight at a very young age and explained how he had not let his disability hinder his progress.

Spring Hill Prison also attended, and two ex-offenders delivered presentations explaining how going into employment when coming out of prison had changed their lives.

All business speakers gave an insight into how their companies, had or were in the process of embedding this element into their Corporate Social Responsibility within business practice and processes and were now reaping the benefits.  

The conference which was held at the Odney Club conference centre, which is run by John Lewis and Partners, in Cookham, saw over 60 attendees from companies from not only Berkshire, but national companies from further afield.

There was also an opportunity for the businesses to network with other likeminded leaders that are interested in finding out how diversity and equality adds value into their business, as well as the opportunity to approach charities who had stands at the conference to discuss how they can start the process.

The High Sheriff had instigated the conference as he stated “it is clear to me that organisations can derive so many advantages from embedding social value in business and I am keen to encourage more companies to benefit from this enlightened approach”.

EBSI Director – Jamela Khan approached many of the companies that we work with to invite them to attend the events.  Companies such as Marriott International, Metro Bank, Heathrow, British Airways, Costain and other key players attended the event which saw over 60 businesses in attendance, with feedback stating they would like further opportunities like this to network, build on their businesses own Corporate Social Responsibility agenda and share good practice to help move their companies forward to look at the employment of ex-offenders and those with disabilities.   

An audience of over 60 attendees were at the event.
Richard Elliott Manpower Group – Speaker.
Ian Heslop OBE – Chief Executive Leonard Cheshire and Trevor Ferguson – Chief Fire Office RBFRS both spoke at the Conference.
High Sheriff of the Royal County of Berkshire, Graham Barker who hosted the event.
Jamela Khan – EBSI Director, Alan Coates and High Sheriff of the Royal County of Berkshire, Graham Barker.
Charities were also available at hand for companies to approach for information.
Businesses had a great opportunity to network with each other in the course of the afternoon.


Jamela Khan and Lynette Webb from EBSI (UK) LTD travelled to Ireland to attend CMETB’s Multiplier Event and the final GYIT Partnership Meeting in Ireland on the 27/11/17 and 28/11/17.

On 27/11/17 Jamela and Lynette visited The Monaghan Institute Education Campus for a Multiplier Event which included a TECH Day and the Launch of the GYIT Career Guidance Pack.   The packs were distributed to 96 students and 8 teachers that attended the event.  The Tech Day proved to be very exciting for the students, as the morning started with John Kearney CEO from Cavan And Monaghan Education and Training Board (CMETB) welcoming everyone to the event.

Students were then introduced to guest speaker and Tech Innovator Colin Guilfoyle CEO  from Nebula Interactive a mobile games company who gave the students an insight into his career pathway into IT and then into the games Industry, he encouraged the students to use the resources available to them to start working on developing their own computer games.   The students who attended from various schools in Monaghan then went onto compete in challenges, such as an IT quiz, Social Media quiz and then finally the Innovation Challenge in which the students had to design a mobile app for their school.   Jamela Khan and Colin Guilfoyle found it to be a difficult task to judge the innovative and exciting ideas that the students presented at the end of the day.  The winning teams won some great technical equipment for their schools, such as a Drone, VR Headsets and Robots.

Martina Rooney – Project Lead on GYIT for CMETB organised a great day, and everyone that attended felt the day had been a great success.

Edel Hesnan – Project Lead on GYIT for FIT also had an event in Dublin which once again saw nearly 100 students attend and take part in an interactive day.  Students and teachers at this event were also able to take away a copy the Careers Guidance Pack and were made aware of the other GYIT resources which are now available for all students, teachers and careers advisors across Europe to use via the GYIT website.

On 28/11/17 all partners attended the final meeting of the  GYIT Project which was held at FIT`s office in Dublin.  Although the project comes to an end in December 2017, the resources are still available for teachers or students to access on the GYIT website.

Martina Rooney – Project Lead on GYIT for CMETB

Colin Guilfoyle CEO from Nebula Interactive on the left and Paddy Flood CMETB Director of Schools on the right.