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4 Mar 2024

On the 21st of February, Leicestershire Cares Youth Justice Team hosted a Careers and Hoodie Design Day. The funds that made this day possible are attributable to Exhibit and the People’s Postcode Trust for which we are truly grateful. This event was designed to provide young people with the opportunity to network with professionals informally to both learn from their experiences and raise their aspirations. There were 10 participants in attendance consisting of 2 females, 8 males, 6 business professionals, 3 support workers, and 3 professionals from Pedestrian. Throughout the event, Jacob Mason, from Robert Pochin was present to capture photographs of the event for which we are truly grateful.

The first part of the day commenced with career talks starting with Chris Oakes, Public Sector Maintenance Controller from All Truck. He spoke about his career path as a young man and spoke openly about some of the mistakes he made. He urged participants to learn skills along the way which will contribute to their career growth.

He was followed by Rhys Higgins, maintenance technician from Barratt Homes who spoke about being involved in the youth justice system as a young man. He advised that he had worked in over 30 jobs before he finally found his niche in construction. He encouraged participants to be intentional about doing something instead of doing nothing.

Jainik, MOT Tester at 115B Doncaster Garage, whose family owns an automotive business shared lessons he learned when in prison such as discipline and time management. Jainik’s father did not immediately provide him with a job as would have been expected. He was encouraged to search for a job and was finally able to secure a sales job. Over time, he acquired a strong work ethic, and he emphasized the importance of having the right circle of friends around you. Jainik and his friend R.J both host the Fryday podcast where they interview people from all walks of life including entrepreneurs.

R.J, a senior account manager at Everything Branded shared his experience as a young man navigating the world of work. He confirmed that although he did not enjoy being in education, he discovered that he enjoyed sales and learned a lot whilst working for a mobile phone company. R.J. advised participants to make an effort to improve themselves on a regular basis.

Sue Woollett, social value manager at Stepnell, provided insight into how she got involved in teaching ante-natal classes. She spoke about the importance of utilizing transferable skills and also conducted an interactive session to help participants identify their personal brand. Participants were asked to think about and discuss different popular personalities, and then to think about and describe themselves from a professional standpoint.

We had a lunch break, and, during that time, participants were able to practice their communication and networking skills by interacting with other participants and business professionals. It was noteworthy that a participant who was previously unable to attend a one-hour session was able to stay for the full duration of the morning session and participated in eating with her peers thus bringing her one step closer to overcoming social anxiety.

The second half of the day was facilitated by Nick from Pedestrian who taught the group how to create artistic designs on hoodies. Participants learned how to create their preferred design and they were shown different techniques using the appropriate markers and spray paint. This session was both interactive and fun as participants engaged in discourse with the course facilitators and with each other.

This session enabled participants to increase their confidence and self-esteem; the process of drawing and painting fostered their overall well-being as they learned new skills and forged new relationships.

I just wanted to let you know, our young person attended the event on Wednesday. He really enjoyed the event and found it very informative.

If you do have any other events coming up please let me know as we would love to bring our young people.

Sheena Patel- Support Worker

I found the careers part useful since it gave us an idea of how different people can get jobs even if they didn't get into their desired/current job and that there’s a lot of different paths you can take when it comes to jobs and for the hoodie design I found it fun and it allowed me to have some creative freedom on what I wanted to design.

Participant feedback

The entire event was a huge success and participants left feeling enlightened and inspired. We would like to extend gratitude once again to Exhibit and the People’s Postcode Trust for making this possible.

If you are a business and you would like to get involved in the work that we do by providing valuable work experience/work trials, please get in touch using the email address below.

Youth Justice Project Development Manager

Chikodi Lori

To read about our Power to Change approach, click on the link below:,city%20and%20county%20for%20all.

For more information and insight into the VIP Project click the links below: