SCHOOLS have praised a campaign designed to help pupils take control of their future.

The Make Happen campaign ran a series of workshops in schools to inspire young people in Years 9 and 11 to find out what they can make happen in their future, and the skills they would need to achieve it.

Julie Hilliker, Business and Enterprise Manager at the Appleton School in Benfleet, which took part, said: “I really liked the fact the workshop got the students thinking about their future in a different way.

The speaker was entertaining and made the students look at their strengths instead of subjects and choices. They left thinking about what they could potentially achieve. I would definitely like to see Make Happen return to Appleton School.”

Ed Hawking, an Assistant Head at the Sweyne Park School, in Rayleigh, added: “The marketing for the Make Happen campaign was really clever. Often, it’s difficult to get students to think about other career choices than those that they’re already familiar with because of family and friends. Make Happen really helped them see beyond this. Students were encouraged to start with what they like and what they’re good at, and research the career options that are possible from there. It was genuinely excellent.”

Make Happen was devised by marketing agency Mackman and the Essex Collaborative Outreach Network (ECON).

The school workshops were delivered by PurePotential and Kamal Ellis-Hyman, one of the UK’s youngest professional speakers, a previous Olympic torch bearer and Peter Jones Entrepreneur of the Year.

Teachers praised Kamal’s connection with the students and how Make Happen inspired them to consider their future options in a different, more relevant way.

To create the campaign, ECON worked with award winning marketing agency Mackman. As part of the work Mackman designed a website platform giving facts about university and hosting videos that showed different people’s experiences while studying. The website is also a portal to help students, teachers and parents to learn more about university life.

Amelia Gabriel, Managing Director of Pure Potential, said: “Students are not always given a chance to reflect on their skills and interests and think about how they might convert them into a job they will enjoy and excel in. It is the creative, practical and personal approach to the workshops that has made the campaign successful.”