Black History Month, cut-edge corrosion and the power of young minds

New Business Development Manager, Ian Whilby, shares his thoughts following our latest community-focused initiative…

As part of my role at High Access I oversee the business’ many CSR activities. From donating our services to worthy causes, or fundraising for local charities – it’s an important part of my job that keeps me very busy.

Wellfield Infant and Nursery School in Ashton-on-Mersey is one such organisation that we have recently established a new community partnership with. In addition to committing to an annual gutter clean on all of its buildings, myself and our Group Executive Assistant, Karen, were invited into the school as part of its Black History Month celebrations.

Headteacher Miss Cathy Graham is one of those individuals that you wish was in charge of your school. She has boundless amounts of energy and enthusiasm, complemented by a belief that all children are vessels of sheer talent and ability just waiting to be nurtured. So, when I was contacted by Miss Graham and asked to visit the school to share my family’s history of immigrating from the Caribbean to the UK with her Year Two class of six and seven year olds, I jumped at the chance.

As an infant school Wellfield is unique as it not only serves the needs of the immediate catchment area, but it also has a small specialist class for children with social communication difficulties and autism, taking in children from across the borough and beyond the school’s catchment area.

As part of the talk Miss Graham had asked me to describe what High Access do as an organisation. I’m sure you can imagine the challenge of explaining why cut-edge corrosion is the menace of any distribution centre, or why it’s prudent to have both a glazing strategy for inspection and maintenance for any building manager.

However, I was reminded at that point of how the purposes of our services at High Access can provide a valuable life-lesson. As I went on to explain to the children, it is always better to proactively prevent a bad outcome then allow bad things to happen, then look to clean up the mess.

After an hour in their company they reminded me of what we can all come to forget when we are embedded in our corporate environments and I found myself taking away as many lessons from the children as I had planned to share with them. In Phil Stutz & Barry Michael’s book, The Tools, they remind us of the power of self-conscious with Stutz citing, “As you watch children playing they never freeze self-conscious or insecure because they express themselves freely and exuberantly.”

Spending the morning with these young minds was both uplifting and engaging and reinforced why we place the importance of managers completing this sort of activity outside daily duties so highly at High Access.

Thank you to the school for inviting us – what a fantastic experience! We hope the children enjoyed it as much as we did.

 

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