Today, George Mitchell school – where I am a governor – launched a major project called “CHALLENGE 2012”.
Challenge 2012 aims to raise enough money to send twelve pupils each, from each of the twenty most deprived countries participating in the Olympics, to school by 2012.
Challenge 2012 is a fantastic project with massive potential. Please read on to see how you can get involved and help.
‘Challenge 2012: We Can Make a Difference’ by Claire Kirwin, Deputy Head Teacher, George Mitchell School
“As part of Enterprise Week in November we had an Enterprise Challenge where the students were put into ‘companies’ and had to produce a business plan, business cards and some products that could be launched for the 2012 Olympics. They had to come up with a name, a budget and had to purchase items to make their t-shirts, headwear, a flag etc.
When we were judging we came across a t-shirt design that we felt had real potential for further development. As lay people we didn’t quite know how, or what for but we did know a man who might.
As a Director of BiE (business into education), I have met and worked with Tony Kenton who is a ‘Chief Imagineer’ of CPI London, a gentleman and a scholar. He has a business based in Finchley and has the interests of young people, their present and their futures very much at heart.
I met with him and he was instantly taken with the design that our student had produced. We did a lot of doodling and talked through what we might do with this design so that we could raise money for a good cause and perhaps help out with some fundraising for the school as well?
One thing that we knew we wanted and that was to make it a community based project with citizenship, the International community and the 2012 Olympics very much at its heart.
Tony came up with the concept that would embrace all of these, Challenge 2012 – the aim is by the time of the London Olympics in 2012 to have selected 20 of the poorest Olympic countries and have raised funds to pay for the education of 12 students from each country.
We loved this idea and decided that the next stage was to take the design that Tasneem Ahmed, the student who designed the original concept, had done and use it as the inspiration to produce a professional yet not corporate logo. Tony’s design team worked on a number of ideas and finally after several visuals developed the Challenge 2012 logo.
The next step was to see what the logo would look like when produced on a range of clothing and promotional products, so Tony commissioned a hand made embroidered sample to see how the design would look in real life. This proved to be a great success and so Tony contacted Laurie Hale from Yourimage – a company in Surrey that he has worked with before to produce a digitally mastered embroidered sample. This was even better and so Tony got Laurie to produce a small number of samples using the Fruit of the Loom high quality polo shirts.
Now we had a cause, a logo and of course the challenge of getting the whole thing off the ground.
A considerable amount of money needs to be raised over the next six years in order to be able to help make a positive difference to the lives of 240 children and their community’s. To do this there will need to be a whole host of fundraising activities, products, and events that will help us achieve this extremely ambitious goal.
It is hoped that the 2012 Challenge will be a life changing project for those taking part as well as those being helped.
But before we begin properly we need everyone’s help to get publicity and to raise awareness. We need to get people on board who will actually do something, we need to gain the help of schools all over London and the UK, caring entrepreneurs and forward thinking businesses who like us believe that if we all put our minds to it, we can make a difference, we can make the world a better place”.
For further information about Challenge 2012 please contact:
Claire Kirwin, Deputy Headteacher. George Mitchell School, Farmer Rd, Leyton.
Tel: 0208 539 6198