Friday, 30 March 2018 09:06

Opportunities for Barnet’s challenged youngsters

Written by Nick Jones
Cake maker Lisa-Marie Chandler demonstrating techniques for turning out rose whirls on cream cup cakes Cake maker Lisa-Marie Chandler demonstrating techniques for turning out rose whirls on cream cup cakes
Hands-on experience in a great variety of trades, sports and occupations was all part of a careers day organised at the Pavilion School, in Chandos Avenue,Whetstone, which provides support and education for Barnet children who are outside mainstream education.

Volunteers from businesses and organisations across the borough gave up their time to offer instruction on crafts and past times – and especially trades with career opportunities.

Popular sessions included cake making and decorating, dog grooming, bricklaying, music production and sports such as boxing.

Dog groomer Jessica Allegri gets to work grooming Ivy as Lesley Graham, head of careers at the Pavilion School, looks onLesley Graham, head of careers at the Pavilion School, said the careers day was a first for the borough.

“Instead of just a day of talks and guidance on future job prospects, there were practical sessions, and it was so inspiring that local business and trades people were prepared to give their time to help and advise the youngsters.”

In a marquee on the school playing field, Lisa-Marie Chandler, self-taught cake maker from North Finchley, demonstrated techniques for turning out rose whirls to decorate cream cupcakes.

“A lot of the students were really interested. I explained that you don’t necessarily need formal qualifications for cake making and decorating.

“It’s all about being able to organise, remembering what to do, and having the drive and determination to keep at it.”

At which point one of the students piped up to say, “But you do need an oven.”

Dog groomer Jessica Allegri – from Groomers on the Green at Brookmans Park – gave a hands-on demonstration clipping Ivy, a “well-behaved” standard poodle, which seemed to enjoy the attention.

Across in the school building in a packed classroom, boxing instructor Leon Stewart was fortunately well-padded as he took punch after punch while demonstrating his own fast foot work.

In another equally crowded session, Farzed Hakimfordi, from the Art Against Knives studio in North Finchley, gave instruction on the technology of electronic music production.

Ms Graham said the aim of the day was allow students the chance to experience a range of potential careers.

The Pavilion School provides education for up to 130 Barnet youngsters who are outside mainstream education because of physical or emotional health reasons, mental health challenges or behavioural issues.

The careers day was opened by the Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Brian Salinger. Also present was the Chipping Barnet MP, Theresa Villiers.

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