• Nicholas Harrison

'William the Conqueror' - Making tracks into the future

Here are more details about the Isle of Wight personal development through heritage project. We hope this answers any questions you may have, however, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time if you need to know anything else or to apply. Thank you.

Introduction - Soldier On! is a registered charity that provides personal and career development for vulnerable or disadvantaged people, delivered through history and heritage projects.

Our mission is to:

· Improve participant well-being and increase confidence

· Help participants prepare to secure meaningful employment

· Build community cohesion and remove social barriers

· Contribute to knowledge and local historical preservation

· To increase employee resilience, emotional intelligence and leadership through improved self-awareness

We are running a project in the Isle of Wight to cosmetically restore a tank and provide an integrated personal development programme. Participants who are using the project to gain valuable work experience as a step in their employment journey will be expected to show their acquired knowledge and skill development through an evidence record.

Phase One: October 2020 - Over four weekends, six participants will work to prepare a Conqueror tank, housed currently at the Isle of Wight Military and Heritage Museum, before repainting it. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, it is expected that a shift pattern timetable will be created to ensure social-distancing measures are respected at all times.

In addition to stripping and repainting the vehicle, personal development activities will include the following:

· Photographic record of the project

· Video footage

· Daily video and written blogs

Participants are expected to identify what skills and personal attributes they have employed to achieve the above aims, including:

a. Taking instruction from the Project Manager

b. Understanding the overall aims

c. Creating a plan

d. Adhering to health and safety requirements

e. Identifying what to photograph

f. Taking pictures

g. Choosing which pictures to use

h. Storing and cataloguing pictures

i. Resizing/filtering etc.

j. Creation of a photographic board

k. Recording/taking notes

l. Editing footage

m. Liaising with external partners

The Project Manager for this phase will be Murray Grant, a qualified archaeologist who sadly lost his job due to an injury he had sustained whilst serving previously in the British Army. Murray was a participant on an excavation we ran on the site of a C12th Priory last year. We were impressed with his technical knowledge and managerial skills and so, as part of his own career development, we were delighted when he accepted an offer to manage this project.

Phase Two: October to December - The second phase of the project allows participants to develop, over a longer timeframe, and be able to demonstrate to potential employers, skills that they have used through organising and conducting oral history interviews, researching and presenting the history of the tank, locating and compiling technical details and construction of the vehicle. Skills and personal attributes we expect to be demonstrated include:

· Taking instruction from the Project Manager

· Understanding the overall aim

· Creating a plan

· Researching where to find people to gain knowledge

· Making an approach

· Scheduling a call

· Recording/taking notes

· Acquiring information

· Selecting what information to include

· Presenting the information

· Reporting back to interviewees

· Considering and adhering to ethical considerations

Using the data they have sourced, participants will work alongside students from the IoW College to develop essential digital skills such as 3D animation, games development, mobile application and web development, through our partnership with the Isle of Wight College’s Digital Industries Department.

Throughout phases one and two, participants will be supported to find examples of key skills and attributes that are valued by potential employers. They will be recorded in individual participant’s skills and attributes evidence sheets.

The next steps - Armed with a work experience that has hopefully seen an increase in participant well-being and confidence, improved community cohesion and removed social barriers, contributed to historical knowledge and local historical preservation and increased employee resilience, emotional intelligence and leadership through improved self-awareness, participants will develop their independence and presentation skills as they progress to considering the next stage of their employment journey. Each participant will be offered the opportunity to receive local careers advice, interview coaching, on-line application coaching and access to the Island’s most popular local jobsite and recruitment service through our partnership with isleofwightjobs.com.

Participants - We are now recruiting Isle of Wight residents to take part in this exciting programme of events. Whilst we welcome applications from anyone who is at risk of becoming, or is, disadvantaged, socially-isolated or vulnerable, and all will be given due consideration, priority will be given to unemployed Islanders and those who show real commitment to using their time with us to improve their chances of securing suitable and sustainable employment. Please phone Murray on 07825 475 237 to find out more.

Phase Three: (Subject to funding) - If we can secure the funding, our intention is to deliver further historical activities in the Isle of Wight that we have in principal secured already, so that we can run a project during the Spring and Summer academic terms with our partners at the Isle of Wight College and isleofwightjobs.com. We would be aiming to work with a further 15 participants who after taking part in phases one and two, as outlined above, will receive a full programme of one-to-one career counselling to fully prepare them to enter the world of work.

Funding - We are busy writing funding bids now and always eager to talk to potential corporate partners. Please email nicholas@soldieron.org.uk to discuss.

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