We at Hello Future plan and organise trips to our partners for students to engage with taster sessions and to explore the campuses. It gives them insight into what being a student at that particular higher education provider might be like, and showcases some of the degree/qualification pathways they might take up in the future. The trip was offered to a school from each area we work in (Carlisle & Eden, west Cumbria, and Furness).

This month, we had a trip planned for Myerscough College down in Preston. Myerscough College specialises and offers a myriad of courses that are sport and ground-based, such as: agriculture, animal care, motorsport, equine, arboriculture, etc. This meant that the students coming on the trip would spend the majority of their day outside seeing all that the college has to offer and experiencing four different taster sessions throughout the day.

While the planning of the trip was left in my control soon after I joined the team at Hello Future, I found it somewhat daunting at the prospect of planning an entire trip, not for one school, but for three. Once I got stuck in and began the process, I soon found that it was no where near as daunting as I first suspected, and it was a smooth process. It involved liaising with Myerscough College about drafting itineraries, speaking with schools to assist with recruitment, setting up payments, booking coaches, etc.

Waking up on the day of the trip, I was fairly excited, just as I would have been for going on a trip when I was back at school and it also had the additional factor of satisfaction from my involvement in its organisation. On the day itself, the coaches arrived on time for the sessions and all the students got to experience their four workshops throughout the day. I tagged alongside one of the school’s groups and got to observe four of the workshops. In the morning, we looked at animal care where we got to see a wide array of animals such as axolotls, tarantulas, snakes, chinchillas, cats, parrots, etc. They then got to learn about apprenticeships and what they would look like at Myerscough College. Then in the afternoon they had a motorsport workshop where they got to see the inner mechanism of rally cars and be able to take off and put back on tyres, and to finish off the day they got to meet Topaz the pony who gracefully allowed the students to groom and stroke him, while listening to a equine expert discuss all the details of keeping horses, both professionally and personally.

Overall, the day was a resounding success that operated smoothly, and ultimately provided students an insight into higher education in a facility that offers much more outdoor-based subjects. Students could appreciate all it had to offer since the outdoor and nature-related subjects reflected the values and opportunities that are available in Cumbria and its surrounding areas.