Children take over The Mall at Blackburn and Walthamstow
Children from St Paul’s RC Primary School in Feniscowles and South Grove Primary School in Walthamstow took over The Mall Blackburn and Walthamstow this October.
The students were taking part in a national initiative to coincide with REVO’s “retail matters week” to give children a valuable insight into the world of work. The scheme, which is backed by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, will enable them to shadow professionals and find out what is involved in the day to day running of a busy shopping centre.
At The Mall Blackburn, Year 6 pupils were taken on a unique behind the scenes tour of the shopping centre including the security offices, sprinkler room, recycling centre and control room. They also visited the management offices and the Ask Me Point to learn about how each job role contributes to the smooth running of the busy Mall.
Loraine Jones, General Manager at The Mall Blackburn, said:
“We had a fantastic time with the children from St Paul’s RC Primary School and they were an absolute credit to their teachers. It was wonderful to see how inquisitive they were and they asked lots of brilliant questions throughout the day.
“When we asked them what their favourite part of the day was every single child said their visit to the control room, which came as no surprise as it is a hive of activity and is home to all the CCTV operations. I am sure, from our conversations with the youngsters, that there are a lot of future retailers, security personnel and retail management candidates amongst the class!”
In a packed schedule of events at The Mall Walthamstow, the children had the opportunity to work alongside members of the management, marketing and security teams, complete an interactive budgeting challenge and design a map or poster for The Mall. And the hard work will not stop when the pupils return to school. Each child will be tasked to write a report of their day at The Mall as homework. The winning report will be published on The Mall’s website and the pupil will receive a special prize.
Julie Maltwood, Heat Teacher at South Grove Primary School said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for the children as it will give them first-hand experience of what it is like working in The Mall and an understanding of the types of job roles that are being carried out, in a real life situation. It will also enable the children to experience the decision making around marketing and budgeting and identify the key objectives behind it. Having taken part in The Takeover Day previously, we know how much the children got from the day. The conversations that took place afterwards were amazing and showed the capacity that children have to develop these new experiences and gain a practical clear insight into the world of work.”
Rebecca Bird, Marketing Manager at The Mall Walthamstow, added: “We are really excited about welcoming the children to The Mall and introducing them to the world of work in a fun and educational way. We are always keen to engage with local schools and participate in the wider community and are looking forward to hearing the children’s ideas. I hope that the experience will in some way shape their path in life and provide them with a better understanding of what it is like to work.”