Our offices recently hosted a group of young Salford Ambassadors as part of our ongoing work with local charity Mancunian Way. The young people from Salford were spending the afternoon at Arcon to explore the housing sector, the varied roles it entails and the many different entry routes into a career within the housing industry. Play-doh, jelly babies and James Bond were just some of the activities the young people got involved in, with the purpose of promoting and practicing key work skills such as communication, time keeping and resilience.
Lunch was provided in our boardroom followed by brief introductions and icebreakers for Arcon staff and the visitors to become accustomed. Our Housing Officer Danielle began with an overview of the housing sector, its ambitions, restrictions, purpose and her own personal and professional journey in housing. This served to inspire and education our young visitors and provided a holistic overview of housing and its reach on society.
Next was the infamous ‘spaghetti tower’ challenge. Our two groups were tasked with building the largest freestanding tower able to hold an inflated balloon, with just spaghetti and jelly babies. The room became rife with competitiveness- more so from staff than the young people- With the room erupting with lively discussion and grunts of frustration.
Two more activities followed, requiring patience and imagination when creating objects out of play-doh under strict time constraints. Tea cups and saucers, a dog, bananas and a ladder were created with our final round judged anonymously to eliminate any potential bias- both groups were taking our ‘games’ very seriously! The final activity was designed to encourage meaningful thinking and exploring what makes a good leader and the characteristics we need in a team to maximise success and positive outcomes. Famous fictional characters such as James Bond, Princess Elsa from Frozen and Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter were included in the game which required critical thinking and reflection.
Finally, our Customer Service Officer Rachel and our Communications and Social Investment Officer Amna explored with the group their journeys in housing and what their role means to them and the local community. The young visitors and staff appeared enthralled and motivated by the tasks and presentations which offered an insight into a unique sector, which most of the visitors had not heard of before. Danielle, Rachel and Amna may have inspired our future housing leaders!