ProjX 2020

ProjX July 2020

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In July 2020 20 students from 5 different schools across West Cumbria took part in a two-week online work awareness programme developed by the Centre for Leadership Performance in partnership with 16 local businesses and organisations, funded by Sellafield Ltd.

You can find out what each group did below:

St Benedict’s Catholic School Whitehaven

Team of 4 Year 10 students. 3 boys and 1 girl, only 2 new each other before taking part in ProjX. 3 had originally applied for the programme pre-covid and 1 had asked to join the new online programme when it was offered to other yr 10 students at the school. The team choose Whitehaven as their area of re-development and focused on improving the recreational activities available including a cycle hire and system of cycle pathways, a zipline and watersports.

St Joesph’s Catholic High School Workington (The Branded Movement)

Team of 5 yr 10 Students 4 girls and 1 boy, only a couple of them new each other well from school. All were students who had applied and been interviewed for the original programme pre-covid. The team choose Keswick and the islands on Derwent Water as their focus to encourage use of the outdoors and healthy activities. They planned to re-develop the islands to include interlinking bridges which would allow easier and more inclusive access encouraging use for both the local community and tourists.

Cockermouth and Energy Coast UTC (Proj-x-tions)

Team of 6 yr 11 students (3 girls from Cockermouth and 2 girls and 1 boy from UTC) this was the only mixed school group – not that you would have known as they worked so well together. The year 11s at both Cockermouth and UTC were given this as an optional opportunity and these students chose to take part. The team focus on Whitehaven again as their area for re-developed and designed multi-purpose entertainments facility on a dis-used site in the town. The group’s presentation went into exceptional detail regarding the use of the building, its lifespan, cost, procurement, planning considerations and policies and took into consideration feedback.

Beacon Hill

5 Yr 10 Student’s 3 boys and 1 girl. The students did know each other already and had worked on some industry projects in school but never online in this way. Some of the students had applied originally to take part in the programme pre-covid and a couple had joined when it was put out to all the yr 10 students again. The team chose Maryport as their focus for re-development and looked at the area by Aquarium at the Harbour building a new modern museum, café and shopping facility which would incorporate a new aquarium. The group spent a lot of time focusing on the exterior look of the building and how they would work with the community.

Quotes from Companies who took part:

Rachel Bass – Lakes College/NCfN:

I have really enjoyed being able to share my career experience even though it is very short, as this position is my first full time job. I really hope I've been able to inspire students like others have done for me through my learning experiences, and I give them the drive to pursue a career they really want to do.

Michael Fearon – David Allan Accountants:

The ProjX programme is a fantastic project for students to help develop some fantastic business ideas as well as understanding all the different considerations to see the idea come to life. It is also briliant for local businesses to be able to give something back to students by providing specific sessions throughtout the project.

Danielle Lithgow – Jacobs:

I love being involved with the ProjX programme as I feel when I was at school, there weren't as many options and we didn't get as much information on different career paths and jobs we could go into. I like the fact that I'm helping to give student's ideas on a career path they may not have considered or may not even known about.

Quotes from students who took part:


I joined the programme in order to expand my skills in teamwork. Beforehand I always struggled with working with others due to my shy nature. But I believed this programme has helped me in order to improve my teamwork abilities, even over video call. The week involved many presentation with lots of information, and helped me learn about the different jobs that go into designing a building. If a friend was interested in construction and/or engineering, I would reccommend the course since it was a lot of fun and a great way to learn different skills and jobs.


First off, it was amazing that experience was even available in terms of the lockdown, it was also a great opportunity to meet new people outside of your own school and work with new people who you may not necessarily choose to work with previously as you may not know them well. The project is also quite independent as well so students aren't completely controlled by guidelines that teachers have set and so they must cover them. I would recommend the ProjX work awareness programme to other students as it opens your eyes to all the different jobs that are required for one project to work and how varied those jobs are. Also, working on the project in teams offers a different experience to what you might do in school as you only focused on one thing and you can develop many skills by working in a team for two weeks, such as knowing when to step up when others can't.


Didn’t think I was a team leader or team player so didn’t think would have confidence to do any of that but this has shown me that I can do teamwork and do it more effectively. Just like to thank the business partners who took the time out to talk to us all as it’s been amazing and I’ve learnt so much.


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