Almost 70 CONEL students on our Public Services and Media courses have played a key role in the successful running and planning of this year’s Pan London Youth Day at Alexandra Palace, which was held on Thursday 13 June.

Organised by the Metropolitan Police’s Engagement and Inclusion Unit, The Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime, and Haringey Police & Community Amateur Boxing Club, CONEL students have helped run the event for the past six years.

This year saw the collaboration of Public Services and Media students, supporting on security, catering, media and maintaining a press office. A total of 65 students were responsible for ensuring everything ran smoothly for the attending 5,000 secondary school students.

Handpicked for the role by CONEL Public Services teacher Brendan Berry, the students helping to organise the event ranged from Level 2 to 5, many returning from previous years to take on new responsibilities and sharing their wisdom with younger students.

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Brendan Berry added: “The Pan London Youth Day enables our HNC and HND Learners to showcase their skills by working with the Metropolitan Police and other sector professionals to bring a "One Stop Shop" experience to the young people of London every year. The event has matured over the past six years to what it has become today and it is becoming London's second biggest careers and youth event for school children from schools and Colleges within the M25. 

“Our students work with the Metropolitan Police from the earliest stages of the event, attending the initial meeting to discuss the budget and venue, site set-up and logistics to final delivery. The day itself is demanding, students assist in setting up the exhibitors, welcome visitors, provide lunch for visitors and exhibitors, and ensure the event closes and breakdown all the equipment with the exhibitors. This event enables both courses to consolidate their Event Planning and Continuous Personal Development Units and no other college can claim that their students work on an event such as this to consolidate their portfolio. It’s a huge responsibility, which they meet with maturity and dedication.”

2019 marks the eleventh anniversary of the event, which provides young people with career insight and the opportunity to interact with key figures in the community. Martin Hewitt, Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, writes: “Young people have a chance to meet and discuss opportunities that are available academically, culturally, socially and career-wise, in a safe environment, with organisations from the private, public and voluntary sector, as well as the chance to meet people with a history of achievement in their chosen field of work.”

Level 2 Media student Pauleen Lijertwood said, “There are CONEL students from all different levels here, representing the college and what it has to offer Londoners. Today we’ve been promoting the college and courses that are running for all students. We’ve also been promoting our course – media – and its different aspects.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to understand the value of our own course a bit better by promoting it to potential new students. It’s a great lesson in confidence and talking to people, too.

“As a mature student who’s done Level 1 and Level 2 and grown through the college, I’ve found it very inspiring to work with other students at different levels and on different courses. We’ve supported each other and shared skills – I’ve enjoyed myself, and I’m confident that I’m going to build up my portfolio through these opportunities, so I’m happy.”

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As well as gaining valuable work experience in event-coordination, planning and delivery, students had the opportunity to explore career options for themselves. Stands included various sections of the Armed Forces and the police, as well as Health and Wellbeing paths and educational advice charities. Students were also able to learn about the work of social enterprise Reach Society, headed by Capital City College Group Governor Dr Dwain A. Neil, OBE. Dr Neil attended the event and said:

“There are a good range of exhibitors here, and if students don’t know what they want to do, it’s good to talk to every single exhibitor, because that will trigger something that they perhaps haven’t thought about yet. I think that’s a real benefit of today. This event has been set up to offer a wide range of opportunities in an environment where students can find the time to think about their futures.”

Tristan Taylor, owner and CEO of Swinley Bike Hub, said: “In our second year supporting the Pan London Youth Day it was fantastic to see the event grow once more with a diverse selection of organisations from the Armed Forces to Sportsable. The reason we are so passionate about supporting this event is that it helps us to engage with colleges around London to encourage those colleges and students that there is a diverse world of opportunity outside of the City of London.

“Swinley Bike Hub is based in a 2,500 acre forest less than an hour from London. Working with Colleges inside London we host pupils in the forest and allow them to experience being outdoors, working together outside the usual working environment and to transfer some skills; the obvious being bike handling, the less obvious is the experiential side which allows students to reflect and think of what is possible. The sessions break down boundaries even within same classes and really brings people together. The Pan London Youth Day allows us to connect again year on year with colleges to add this experiential learning into the curriculum year ahead. Swinley Bike Hub loves attending and the students remembered us this year with our portable pump track so they could all have a go – it is fantastic seeing them ride bikes!”

Adam Latrache, Managing director at SFE Academy added: “The London Youth day offered an opportunity for secondary school learners from London and the Greater London area to get up close to the public services who serve their community so well. Some of the learners in attendance by their own admission had only seen some of the public services on display on the day on TV and YouTube. So the London Youth day would have been their first encounter with them. It was nice to see young adults get inspired when they heard  the stories of heroism from the London Fire brigade or experience what our paramedics do in an emergency situation. 

“SportsAble and Sport, Fitness and Exercise Academy (SFE Academy) were heartened to see so many young adults interested in disability sport. We had queues of people wanting to learn more about Boccia and wheelchair basketball and many got to try it out for themselves! 

“We had many individual conversations from learners to teachers and even some politicians about what we had to offer and our unique role within the community. Helping people with a range of sensory and physical disabilities overcome their difficulties through the medium of sport and our unique educational courses and qualifications. 

“If our aim was to increase awareness of disability and the Power of sport...we certainly achieved our aim.”

Click on the link if you are interested in becoming a Public Services or Media student.