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Office Depot has announced its decision to adopt Harrow Way Community School. The ‘Adopt a School’ initiative will foster a long-term partnership, designed to encourage enterprise and life-long learning for all participants, creating an opportunity to contribute to a student’s understanding of the world of work.

Presentations, mentoring and work experience placements are just some of the ways that Office Depot is working with the school to pioneer new approaches to enhancing education. A team from Office Depot has visited the school on 12 occasions this year, giving interactive presentations to all Key Stage 4 Careers groups. Activities were designed to focus on understanding business, the relationship between links in the supply chain, opportunities provided by a large employer and the skills and qualifications needed to fulfil key roles across the company. The next stage of the programme, the innovative mentoring scheme, was successfully launched on 10th October.

Tony Parsons, Assistant Headteacher, Harrow Way Community School comments: “Initially our intention was to supplement the school’s existing student support activities with the breadth of knowledge and experience of about six volunteer mentors from Office Depot. However, staff at Office Depot have embraced the scheme beyond our most optimistic expectations, with over 20 mentors volunteering to mentor 20 students from Years 10 and 11, who will be the first beneficiaries of the mentoring project.” 

“Adopting Harrow Way School has allowed staff to contribute by giving something back to the community, with a quarter of them having attended the school or who have children at the school. Those volunteers with no past links to the school have welcomed the opportunity to share their experience and skills,” said Sheila Rees, Human Resources Manager, Andover. “Staff taking part have benefited from applying new skills in a school environment, allowing them to further enhance their personal development.”