I really enjoy partnering up with Skills Service in Peterborough and volunteering for them. Every now and again I will get an email from them, with their diary of upcoming events. Each time I find myself skimming through the list for Duck Production events.

Duck Production is my favourite event. It is really enjoyable for me as a volunteer, and you can see what the students get from it too.

Earlier this month I went to Nene Gate School. An incredible school in Peterborough that supports children with additional needs, special needs and emotional needs. Usually we go to a school and have just one year group. However, due to the size of this school and needs of the students we have students from all year groups.

The Duck Production is a business themed event. The students are put into groups, known as their business. They each take on a different role, such as buyer, seller, accountant and maker for example.

Yesterday I was the shop owner. This meant selling sheets of paper for £5 each. I hasten to add it was good quality paper! I was also selling felt pens for £1 each.

The students were taught how to make origami ducks out of paper and they then had to sell them to the buyers, (volunteers from HMRC and Travelex), for the highest amount of money. Each ‘business’ had to pay their staff members wages, rent and such like. Just like in the real world. And the 3 hour event ran over 5 days, with wages and rent being paid each day.

The ‘employees’ also gain bonuses for being polite to the shop and customers. Or fines for running in the workplace, or for having a messy workplace.

It’s a really great event and shows students what it is like in a real-life business. Apart from the fact you could sell a paper duck for around £1,000!!!!

I really enjoy getting involved in projects like this. That is because it helps students understand what it is like to work, how to set up and run a business, and what to expect when working for a business. They also get to meet ‘real people’ from the business world.

When else would these students get the chance to have a digital marketing business owner, staff from Travelex and staff from HMRC in one room?

If you want to get involved in a project like this either drop me a line and I will connect you, or contact Skills Service direct. They are always on the lookout for wonderful volunteers to help their projects. The duck production days are definitely my favourite though.