ASSET Alumni group visit Vertas Group for day of inspiration and learning

Submitted by Connie Maddock | 31/05/2024

Committed to furthering its’ support for ASSET Education Trust, Vertas colleagues were pleased to host a group of ambitious young students for a day of workshops at their head office.

After initially supporting ASSET Education Trust and providing catering for the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) program, Vertas and the trust have continued to collaborate in various ways.

The aim

In addition to the HAF program, Vertas’ catering team has previously delivered a live cooking demonstration. This time, Vertas’ support took the form of a series of workshops led by colleagues from various service areas. These sessions gave the alumni group the necessary advice to bring their ‘People Park’ to life. This is a project dedicated to creating a safe place for children in the local community to play.

What happened on the day?

The day was filled with engaging sessions and interactive discussions to empower young people to turn their ideas into reality. During the visit, students learned what to consider when creating a catering establishment. This allowed the group to understand better how to tailor offerings to meet the customer’s needs.

Next, the students heard from Vertas Group’s Head of Sustainability, Sarah Layton. Sarah spoke about prioritising sustainable practices when building a business and how to minimise environmental impact.

The alumni group then met with Sean Jeffries, Senior Architectural Designer at Concertus Design and Property, to discuss the practical aspects of designing a safe and engaging space. Sean covered the technical considerations of creating a space for young people to enjoy.

Before heading home, the alumni met representatives from the Marketing team, Gabriella Howard and Connie Maddock. The pair offered insights on how the group could promote their project. The session covered different ways to captivate potential investors and equipped students with the necessary marketing tools to take their project forward.

Sarah Layton, Group Head Sustainability: “It was an absolute pleasure to welcome the Asset alumni at our head office. We are delighted to offer our expertise to this wonderful group of ambitious students, empowering the next generation and strengthening support for the local community. This initiative aligns seamlessly with our value of partnership, and we are proud to support the group in bringing their project to life. We look forward to seeing the project progress.”

Jackie Bircham, Deputy CEO: Schools, Strategy and Operations, ASSET Education: ‘Thank you so much for our amazing day last Thursday. I caught up with the kids on a Zoom call yesterday afternoon, and they were buzzing with ideas. Sue, Andrew and the team at Vertas were so incredibly generous with their time, and the alumni group, and Ben and I really appreciated it.

They have a plan now! We’re meeting online over the next 6 weeks up to the May half-term, and they’ll have their business plan tied up by then. We are hoping to go round some of the ASSET school sites in Ipswich in a day over half term to decide on a site for some “pop-up” People Parks so they can test the concept over the Summer holidays. They had loads of notes in their books – I was very impressed!’

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