Counselling Website Wins Third at National Enterprise Competition

 Michella Ahmed is a Talking in Confidence mentor at Jack Hunt School and following her experience of dealing with a family bereavement, found that after seeking support and advice from adults and fellow TIC students, the advice from people her own age could relate more to her feelings and they had better understanding of her situation.  So, as part of the Gifted and Talented Programme and along fellow TIC trained students Jerin Mathew and Sabra Sultana she started working on designing a support website for teenagers.

The website, called ‘Teentalk’ focuses on three areas:  Relationships, Bullying and Exam Stress. Teenagers can ask questions anonymously via the Contact Us page and the students will respond with advice.  The website also contains tips and advice, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and videos giving advice for each of the areas.  All three students are TIC trained having received in-school counselling training support fellow students in times of need.  They are also part of the school’s Pledge Against Prejudice team and through this have an understanding of the impact of bullying and received tips on how to talk to students.

 This was part of the 10-week ‘The Big Deal’ project which is run by the Warwick Business School, Brightside and UniTracks (a national programme for gifted and talented 14-18 year olds from Warwick University).  The aim of the project was to prepare a business plan for a social or business  enterprise. During the project the group worked with business mentor, Paula Newby, a Warwick Business School MBA graduate and had to complete weekly tasks to support the design of their enterprise and the business plan.   The project ended with a presentation of their business plan to a panel of judges for an enterprise to fit within a budget for set-up of between £500 and £5000. The project gave the students the opportunity to use their creative skills, experience risk taking, risk management, team work and to use their organisational, communication and presentation skills.  The three students developed their ‘Teentalk’ website concept in their free time, lunchtimes and afterschool.

The judges were so impressed with the idea and business plan they awarded the team an ‘Honorary’ mention and they came third out of the seven teams that took part. The students plan to develop the concept into a working website after they have completed their exams.  Miss Rashid, Business Teacher said “This was an amazing achievement considering the students had a two-week period out of school due to work experience and were also taking mock exams. It just shows how dedicated and committed they are as they still managed to work on it together. Fantastic!"

(Main photograph courtesy of Peterborough Today and Warwick Business School)