Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of delivering our My Future Self assemblies and workshops across Cumbria.

These sessions have given us the chance to share our new survey, something we’re really excited about. In the past, we had to make educated guesses about the information, advice and guidance which would be most useful to you. This was always informed by the latest research and based on our personal discussions with learners, as well as our own experiences. But ultimately, we couldn’t know exactly what guidance you’d most benefit from. The My Future Self survey aims to change this.

By asking you a selection of questions about your knowledge of Higher Education, as well as what you’d like to know and what your goals are, the survey will give us a clearer picture of your needs. This insight will allow us to offer you tailored support through our four key areas: Ideation and Self-belief, Practical Support & Guidance, Building Skills & Strategies, and Supporting the Transition. Given that we may only have an hour-long workshop with you, we want to make sure we are making the most of our time together. Your engagement in the survey will therefore be invaluable to both of us.

In addition to showing off our new survey, these workshops and assemblies have allowed me to meet many of you for the first time. It’s been a pleasure introducing Hello Future and how we’re going to be supporting you at this exciting (but often challenging) time of your school lives. It’s also given me the opportunity to get to hear from you personally, about your skills, hobbies, and goals. A particular highlight has been inviting students to consider skills they already possess; our hobbies often supply us with skills we didn’t even realise we had. One student enjoyed cooking and realised that he had developed an ability to be organised, juggle multiple tasks and execute a set of instructions to name but a few examples. Consider your own hobbies for a second – what skills have they given you?

Ultimately, no two groups are the same and the difference between classmates, year groups and schools presents its own excitement. Some students are on technical courses with a specific career path in mind, whilst others are more content to keep their options open and see which opportunities present themselves. Regardless of where you sit on that spectrum, I know we can be of some assistance. On that note, I look forward to meeting you soon and hearing what you have to say!