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Royal Navy team engages with Ormiston Maritime Academy

1 February 2017
Students at a Lincolnshire school were given an opportunity to discover more about the Royal Navy when one of its Youth Engagement Teams paid them a visit.

Design to showcase what the Royal Navy is all about and where it operates, the one day event brought together 60 pupils from Ormiston Maritime Academy in Grimsby.

Together school staff and the naval team put the students through their paces with teamwork exercises and briefings, highlighting The Royal Navy’s Global footprint.

"Leading a Youth Engagement Team is very rewarding," said Chief Petty Officer Jo Redfern. 

There are more jobs than I thought. I was really interested in the disaster and humanitarian relief projects the Royal Navy's been involved with, that surprised me.

Stuart North

"It’s a big region to cover and we spend about 19 weeks a year on the road supporting careers offices.

“Schools mostly, but it could be a college or a big youth engagement event, It's never dull and pretty busy.

“I've learnt a lot but working with kids can be fun, they are all very different and personally I relate to the stroppy teenage girls, I've been there when I was that age."

Jo brings to the job, over 20 years’ experience in the Royal Navy and she's ably assisted by Engineer Technician Sam Maddocks, who in his early 20's relates more easily to the youngsters and some of their questions.

"We get asked all sorts", continued Jo. "One recently asked about the cost of fuel for a Warship. This led to us to explain the different types of tasks a Royal Navy Ship can get involved with.

“It opened up a lot of doors we hadn't imagined."

With them for the day and taking a look at Jo's team was Naval Regional Commander for the East of England (NRCEE), Commodore David Elford, who is responsible for Royal Naval engagement in an area covering; north to the Humber, Dover in the east and west as far as Portsmouth.

“My remit is to make sure the Naval Service is understood, respected and valued by the society we serve," said David.

"We need to make and take opportunities as they present themselves, and luckily for me I've got a great team who go around my region presenting to schools.

“It's important to say what the Royal Navy is, why it exists and what it does as well as what it's like to work in and the openings it can offer."

"Coming to Grimsby and Ormiston Maritime Academy has been wonderful, and although I was here as an observer, I couldn't help but get stuck in and I've really enjoyed working with the team."

Organiser at the school is Assistant Principal, Jo Fieldsend; who is responsible for ‘raising aspirations’ at Ormiston Maritime Academy.

"Today's been all about student engagement. The Royal Navy have been really good at showing the students there are huge horizons to aim for, as well as putting their real life work experiences behind what they say.

“They've really communicated well and the students have responded with enthusiasm."

Many of the students who took part came away with a better understanding of what the Royal Navy does and an insight into life at Sea.

"I really enjoyed the presentation," said Stuart North (15). "I used to think the Navy was all about big ships and fighting wars.

“There are more jobs than I thought. I was really interested in the disaster and humanitarian relief projects the Royal Navy's been involved with, that surprised me."

Jo Fieldsend is looking to ask the Royal Navy back on a regular basis, "It's really important the students get as much exposure to the different career options available to ensure that students have the information and experiences to make an informed decision about their future career goals.

“The Royal Navy has really come out well, they're positive, professional and the students have responded to that."


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