Rebrand Reading

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 10:15
Rebrand Reading Final gives young people a voice
Students from across Reading were invited to take part in the first Rebrand Reading competition delivered by Central Berkshire Education Business Partnership with funding from The Cultural Partnership.
Blessed Hugh Faringdon Catholic School, Prospect School and Reading Girls’ School all submitted teams whose task it was to develop an idea to rebrand Reading and encourage more people to live, work and play in our town.
The ideas the students created were original and demonstrated a real awareness of some of the issues Reading faces such as bringing our diverse communities together and youth unemployment.
Some ideas celebrated Reading’s diverse population and created opportunities for communities to come together in centres that catered for all backgrounds, faiths and cultures.
The Final took place on Friday 18th November and was hosted by PWC in their offices in the centre of Reading that provided beautiful views of Reading.
The finalists were:
Blessed Hugh Farringdon Catholic School
Re-editing Reading – An all season fairground attraction to bring communities together
New Gen – The next generation in community centres
Prospect School
Eco-living – a new development of eco houses that will provide clean living and sustainable jobs
In Youth we Trust – A new multimedia venue for music, dance, theatre and art
Reading Girls’ School
Spectrum – An alternative therapy centre to help people destress and maintain their mental health
Caversham Shopping Mall – A unique shopping experience with shops that aren’t currently available in the UK
The final was judged by:
• Sarah Hacker - Reading Borough Council - Chair of Arts & Heritage Forum, Chair of the Cultural Education Partnership, Vice Chair of Planning       
• Grant Thornton - Reading Borough Council - Head of Economic & Cultural Development, Directorate of Environment & Neighbourhood Services  
• Richard Webb - Barton Willmore, the UK’s leading independent planning and design consultancy
The teams were given some time to practice their presentations and speak to the judges who questioned their ideas and delved a bit deeper into the reasons behind their decisions.
All six teams then presented to the judges with Spectrum from Reading Girls’ School named as ultimate winners due to their conviction in their presentation and for having the most innovative idea.
Artangel donated tickets for the winning team to visit the arts exhibition in Reading Prison and afternoon tea was donated by Penta hotel.
This competition provided young people with a great opportunity to have a voice and say what they think Reading needs to make it even better.
Luke Blakebrough a teacher at Prospect School said, “The competition was well organised and a great opportunity for students to think outside the box. Pupils were given the opportunity to be creative with real life situations. Pupils were able to experience the world of work and the many different career opportunities within it. Overall they had a great experience with the final taking place in a great, beautiful and professional office building. This added a real sense of occasion and realism.
“I enjoyed the day, I felt I challenged myself, used teamwork and experience a real business environment. It will also look great on my CV.” Tabitha, Year 11 student at Prospect School.
Kate Thomson, Careers & Employability Skills Coordinator at Reading Girls’ School has said ,“I would say that Rebrand Reading was an excellent way of making the students think about their home town and how it compares to the areas around them and what they have to offer.  It helped them think about what people wanted out of life and how it can be improved.  It was also a very good way of developing students' business and financial awareness.  They also practised some key skills for life and work including communication, teamwork, creative thinking and planning.  The chance to present to a room full of strangers can be a frightening one but it was a challenge that all the students involved rose to.”