Over 350 Year 10 and 11 students from St Christopher’s C.E. High School and The Hyndburn Academy recently heard about the amazing opportunities available across Hyndburn.

Representatives from Scott Dawson Advertising, Peter Scott Printers, Studio Retail, Sundown Solutions and Accrington & Rossendale College, as well as Neuroscience-based Subconscious Brain and Performance Coach Chris Henry, attended the school visits, organised by #AmazingAccrington, on Friday 11th November.

Pupils heard about the fantastic range of opportunities available within the borough, from Apprenticeships and marketing, to cyber and retail.

Accrington-born and ex-professional snooker player, Chris Henry, also spoke to students about his experiences as a world-renowned coach including how he found himself in the unique position of having coached two finalists in the 2021 World Snooker Championship Final – Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy. The Neuroscience-based Subconscious Brain and Performance Coach also spoke to the students about how they can produce a positive outlook on their exams.

Students from St Christopher’s and The Hyndburn Academy also heard about the experiences of Will Fort, Software Developer at Sundown Solutions, and former St Christopher’s C.E. Sixth Form pupil, where he studied Computing, Maths and French before his Apprenticeship at Sundown Solutions.

Accrington & Rossendale College also shared one of their success stories with the schools, including how one Digital T-Level Student has gone onto work for Sundown Solutions.

Murray Dawson, Chair of #AmazingAccrington and Managing Director of Scott Dawson Advertising, said: “It has been wonderful to get a number of our fantastic local businesses together at the same time and to visit two of our schools. The children have heard about the exceptional prospects here in Hyndburn and it was great to see such brilliant engagement from the students.”

Chris Henry, Neuroscience-based Subconscious Brain and Performance Coach, said: “You know the response has been very positive because straight after the presentation, a young boy came up to me and said can I work for you, that sounds so interesting what you are doing.”

Gavin Bonney, L & D Operations Trainer at Studio Retail Limited, commented: “We talked to 350 Year 10 and 11 pupils, telling them about Studio Retail and the fantastic opportunities that we have available and now that we are part of the Fraser Group, there are more opportunities for people within the business and everyone who wants to join the business.”

Devaki Sutton, PSHE & Careers Lead at St Christopher’s C.E. High School, said: “We are really pleased to have had a number of business leaders in St Christopher’s to speak to our Year 11s about the opportunities available locally and we hope they all feel really excited about all the opportunities that are available for their future.”

Melanie Wright, School Liaison Team Lead at Accrington & Rossendale College, said: “It’s great to give the students advice and guidance on what they can do next after school following a path of a career journey, University, an Apprenticeship or whatever they choose to do. We also spoke to the pupils about behind-the-scenes tours and how they can come and take a look around the college after school.”

Nicola Palmer, Headteacher at The Hyndburn Academy, commented: “One of the areas that I am particularly interested in is around the digital world and I look forward to working alongside #AmazingAccrington, Murray and his team about how we can develop specialist skills routes in this area to be put on the map nationally.”

Ben Lee,  Chief Information Officer at Sundown Solutions, added: “We are one of the fastest growing tech companies in this area and we are really trying to get Accrington up there as one of the leading players in the tech industry. When I started there was five or six of us and now there’s over 60 of us all around the country, so we are growing rapidly and it would be great to see some of these students working with us in the future.”

Jessica Ross, Head of Year 11 & Careers Lead at The Hyndburn Academy, said: “Our Year 11’s even stayed behind after the presentation having conversations about Apprenticeships and swapping details, so hopefully we’ve got some future employees in our school with these organisations, so thank you very much to everyone who organised this.”

You can keep up-to-date with the latest opportunities across Hyndburn on the #AmazingAccrington’s dedicated opportunities website: https://opportunities.amazingaccrington.co.uk/