SEMH students in Bradford launch coast to coast cycle ride fundraiser to boost their digital skills

Learners at Oastlers school in Bradford have set teachers and staff at JCT600 the thigh burning challenge of cycling coast to coast to raise money for a new ICT suite. Local businesses are being called upon to sponsor the challenge and help students to improve their digital and technical skills.

Get behind an inspiring fundraiser to buy IT equipment that will give the students at Oastlers school the digital skills to become the future digital and tech talents of the region.

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Students of Oastlers School in Bradford have set their teachers and staff at JCT600 the challenge to cycle 140 miles from West Coast of Lancashire to the East Coast of Yorkshire in just two days in bid to raise £15,000 in sponsorship to build a new ICT suite for their school.

The event cleverly named Coastlers has been organised by students working closely with their Enterprise Adviser at JCT600 and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to encourage businesses to get involved.

Students have been the driving force behind the event supported by Digital Advantage, an innovative social enterprise that takes creative and tech industry professionals into schools to develop and reveal student's hidden talents across Yorkshire and the North West. They have thrown themselves into branding, digital marketing, video production and web design to raise awareness of the challenging fundraiser.

Andy Lovett, Managing Director, Digital Advantage said:

"We are delighted to support Oastlers School on this project.

“As well as raising funds and strengthening the school community, we are helping the pupils to develop transferable skills they can use in a modern workplace."

Paul Holloway, lead trainer on this project, Digital Advantage said:

"The team of students working on the project have had a direct input into developing the Coastlers brand. 

“They already have good tech skills and we are guiding them to use these skills in a professional environment. 

“We have discovered that Kieran is a talented website developer and Alfie has impressed us with his animating skills. The staff and students are so engaged and enthusiastic. It's a joy to be working with them."

Lyndsey Brown Head Teacher at Oastlers school said:

“Through working with Digital Advantage to develop content and a website for the event, we’ve already been amazed at how quickly our learners have not only learnt new digital skills but are now problem solving and innovating with software that is completely new to them. It has proven to us how valuable a new ICT suite would be to our school and I’m excited to see what our students could achieve with improved resources.

We’re commited to ensuring our learners leave school with the right skills needed by local employers which is a huge motivator for improving our ICT equipment.”

Local businesses are being given the opportunity to feature on the official Coastlers cycling jersey by sponsoring the cycle challenge. The school are running a sponsorship auction event on 13 March, when employers can bid for various sponsorship packages. They can get involved by visiting the events fundraising website which has been built by the students at: https://oastlersda.wixsite.com/website or anyone can sponsor the event at: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/oastlersschoolc2c

Adam Nichols, a LEP Enterprise Adviser from JCT600 has been working closely with students.

Adam Nichols, Group Recruitment Manager at JCT600 said:

“This project is a great example of why it’s so important for businesses to invest in young talent. I’ve been working with the students at Oastlers school for 18 months and the students have shown real potential.

I’m really impressed with the work they’ve done so far to help raise funds for a new ICT suite and with the right technology, resources and employer investment, I’m confident they’ll be a fantastic addition to the local workforce.”

Research shows that between 2015 and 2018, Leeds City Region has seen the fastest growth of digital jobs in the country with a 46 per cent increase proving there is demand for digital skills within the local area.

Roger Marsh OBE DL, Chairman of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and NP11 said:

“Investing in the region’s young people and listening to the needs of businesses is key to strengthening the Bradford economy.

The digital sector is growing at a rapid rate and our digital businesses are thriving and demanding more skills.

By supporting Oastlers school to introduce a new ICT suite, businesses will be investing in their future workforce by giving young people in the area improved digital skills and the inspiration to consider a technical or digital career.”

The press are invited to a media call where they can meet the cycle challenge team, students in charge of organising the event, local employers and parents at their Spring Fair on the 3 April 2020 at 11am – 12pm at Oastlers School in Bradford. The Spring Fair will launch the fundraiser celebrating the hard work of the student event organisers so far.  

The cycle challenge will start from Morecambe on 8 May and be completed at Scarborough the following day, where the press are also invited to attend.

For more information about the Coastlers cycle challenge or media call on the 3 April please contact: Robert.Fairbairn@oastlers.co.uk 01274 307456