July 22

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Sunny in Stockley Park

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I am very privileged to work with some lovely people. When I first started thinking about applying to Pulse, I spoke to a few alumni to get an idea of what it might be like. All of them said what a great experience it was and how much they’d enjoyed it. They also said they had been overwhelmed by how much other people were willing to give up their help them or share their expertise. I completely agree with that sentiment.

As I mentioned in my previous post, my assignment is to develop a schools program to support Project Hope UK’s You Grow They Grow (www.yougrowtheygrow.com) initiative. I brainstormed some ideas, my sister kindly sent me a copy of the National Curriculum framework, I made some draft plans and I was away. But what I really needed some feedback from schools. I sent an email to the GSK STEM ambassadors asking for their help getting me in to their partner schools and bam, within an afternoon I suddenly had 8 appointments! GSK STEM ambassadors, you are all fantastic! Thank you very much for your help, it made all the difference.

I also needed some help with marketing. None of this is my usual day job and I’m not sure how to do any of it but I’m really stumped when it comes to marketing. I have to say thank you to Elena and Elaine who both took time out of their busy days to talk me through some basics and helped me put together a proper plan. What was interesting from our discussions was how my approach differed from theirs. With my lab scientist hat on, I had immediately tried to come up with a plan of exactly what I was going do. Elaine and Elena encouraged me to spend more time thinking about the problem, diagnosing what needs to be done, why and when, the different options for how I could do it, and who was going to do what. Reflecting on the conversation, I realise now I did exactly what I said I wasn’t going to do in our change management ADP training. I’ll try and do it better next time.

Getting feedback from teachers has been going really well. Our idea of getting the children growing plants and having a plant sale at school has been well received by teachers and I have eight schools on board for our pilot next year. We’re aiming to recruit 30 schools so if anyone thinks their local school might be interested in taking part, please let me know. While the schools are on holiday over the summer, I’ll be busy focussing on getting the online resources ready for September, finding a sponsor for our grow packs and thinking about who could be the face of You Grow They Grow in schools. Does anyone know how I get hold of Mr Bloom?

For all my Pulse colleagues currently all over the world, the summer has finally arrived in the UK. Now we’re all complaining that it’s too hot. I hope all of your assignments are going well. Enjoy the sunshine!