Mirror Day
October 28th, 2011

Mirror – Aspirations and Experience

I have some better photographs on the way but this is the paper store at the printing press that prints The Daily Mirror amongst other papers. They use all of this (re-cycled) paper in the course of one week!

So this week (half-term) we took some young people to visit The Trinity Mirror Group. This is the group that owns The Daily Mirror newspaper, the 8th largest newspaper in the world, as well as a variety of other media. It was an amazing opportunity for the young people involved. We started in their head office which covers several floors of One Canada Square (Canary Wharf). We had a tour of the offices and saw the news room and all the other elements that make up a national newspaper. Surrounded by incredible views over London, we had presentations from a Senior Staff Reporter, Head of Sales, Head of Product Management, Head of Legal, and Head of Training and Development. They explained their various roles and each told their story of how they had got to their current position. It was great to hear the variety of routes they had taken. Some had been very academically successful whilst some had struggled at school and had learnt through work experience. What they had all shared was an aspiration and the hard work and determination to pursue it.

After lunch we set off for Watford in a minibus, to visit the printing press. We had a guided tour of the vast building, learning about and seeing first hand, how papers are transformed from words and images on a screen through a series of surprisingly and impressively intricate processes to become the paper that we hold in our hands. It was really fascinating. Again the manager that was showing us around told us his story. He had started just working the machines and through hard work had managed to progress to his position of manager.

Listening to peoples’ stories is one of our favourite activities at the Canaan Project because we have found this to be one of the best ways to encourage aspiration; to expand the world of the young people by giving them new experiences and opening them up to new conversations with new people. It was great to hear the conversations between the young people on the way home, truly inspired and looking to develop new career paths with their new understandings and experiences and also their new network of contacts. Watch this space!

It was also interesting to come back to the Teviot and bump into one of the young people that said they would come but never turned up on the morning (for those working with young people you know what I’m talking about!). He was disappointed to miss the opportunity and I was also disappointed for him to have missed such a great opportunity. As is often the way it is those that are too lazy, or oversleep or make no effort or lie that will miss out, but it is the responsibility of the Canaan Project to keep throwing those young people opportunities in the hope that one day they take one and raise their aspirations and become all that they can be, running in to adulthood full of confidence and self esteem.