Blog

Learning In Lockdown - Best Achievement Award

Last year, when the UK went into its first lockdown, we ran a digital work experience programme that helped 2,000 students across the country to gain an insight into a range of construction roles. Poppy Bailey, winner of the "Best Achievement" award, sponsored by Willmott Dixon, received a special prize. Supported by Zoe Anastasi, midlands community manager, she joined the team virtually for sessions on their CV writing programme.

All about Poppy

Poppy is a year 10 student at Hadley Learning Community Secondary School, one of the 300 schools across the UK that took part in the Learning in Lockdown initiative. Her hobbies are dancing and socialising with friends. When we asked her why she signed up to the programme, she said:

“I signed up after being approached by my school and thought it would be a good opportunity to try something new whilst I wasn’t able to physically be in school! It gave me the chance to interact with other students at different schools and do something I hadn’t done before!”

Poppy Bailey
Student

Getting to know Zoe

Zoe Anastasi acts as the bridge between Willmott Dixon and the local communities in which they work. As a SCAPE ambassador, she engages with potential clients, as well as building upon existing relationships. Her work ensures that on every project the needs of the surrounding community are always at the forefront and that the benefits can truly be felt by local people.

A fantastic experience

After completing the Esteem Pavilion Challenge, to design a sustainable community building for a growing community in Dubai, along with the other students who took part, Poppy submitted a full written report, for review.

Leanne Day, national framework manager at Willmott Dixon, had the privilege of reviewing them for the SCAPE "Best Achievement" award, and was very impressed with Poppy's submission.

"Poppy’s was a well thought out design, and the effort she had gone to building the model was brilliant. She has shown an excellent technical ability to understand and articulate the ergonomics of the building and answered the brief extremely well.”
Leanne Day, national framework manager, Willmott Dixon

For her prize, Zoe and the Willmott Dixon team worked directly with Poppy for eight weeks. Their virtual meetings included various employability-based activities, as well as mentoring, coaching and support sessions. Poppy was also able to support Zoe and the team in exploring and developing a potential internal programme that would see an online work experience that was fit for the future.

Poppy received a letter of recommendation from Willmott Dixon for her hard work and commitment – she also received a voucher, as a thank you and well done for her participation.

I have learnt so much through this experience including interview skills and how to ask and answer questions and how to write my own CV. I have had the opportunity to learn thing I had never even though about before. Zoe has been a wonderful mentor and has helped me bring out the positives of myself – giving me confidence to speak to new people. Overall, it’s been a very useful and enjoyable experience where I have been continuously learning new things!”

Poppy Bailey
Student

Poppy really came out of her shell during these sessions and I could see her grow in confidence week on week. At Willmott Dixon we have delivered hundreds of hours of mentoring to young people over the years, and we believe this provision of personal support, assistance, encouragement and inspiration is vital to help the next generation thrive in what may seem more than ever, an unknown future”

Zoe Anastasi
Midlands community manager

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