7 Mar 2020

Ahead of International Women's Day, we speak to our Learning and Outreach manager, Rhiannon Evans, about her work with schools and how we help to inspire girls about the world of work and the opportunities available to them. 

What is your role at London’s Air Ambulance Charity?

I am the Learning & Outreach Manager at London’s Air Ambulance Charity. Most of my activities take place outside the office - my role involves visiting schools, colleges and youth groups across London to let them know about London’s Air Ambulance, the service we provide for London and the different roles in our team. This ties into our strategic aim of ‘connecting with the people of London’. 

How do you work to inspire young girls about the world of work?

We work with the organisation I Can Be, which runs a school programme that brings 7-8 year old girls into the world of work, broadening horizons and helping them to discover the breadth of opportunity around them.The purpose of the programme is to provide opportunities for girls who might not otherwise have the opportunity to meet a diverse group of working female role models. It helps them make the link between their education and their future by seeing what jobs are available and boosting their confidence and motivation to succeed. I Can Be asks supporters to host a group of 10 girls in their workplace so that they get to experience a range of working environments and the people that work in them. 

How did we first start working with I Can Be?

I found out about the project through a Twitter post asking for organisations to sign up and host visits. I got in touch and discovered that a number of schools in East London were involved. I believe it’s important that we engage with schools in our local community as they see our team in the helicopter and rapid response cars daily so for me this project offered an easy way to do this. I can honestly say that this is one of the most rewarding projects I have been involved with.

How often do we run sessions?

I hosted groups from 4 different primary schools during the 2018-19 academic year and have agreed to host 8 groups this academic year.  The visits are organised during the spring and summer terms and each school group visits ten different organisations arranged through I Can Be.

What sort of activities do you run to help inspire them?

The girls come to the charity office at Mansell Street with two members of staff from their school. The session begins with the girls asking me the questions they have prepared in advance before I tell them a bit about my role and how it fits in to the wider team at London’s Air Ambulance Charity. The final activity needs to be something practical so I often ask them to make a poster to show the important facts about London’s Air Ambulance Charity that they think everyone should know.

Why is it important to talk to children about careers?

I’m a trained career coach and I know it’s important to expose young people to a range of people with different job roles from different organisations at a young age as they start to think about their future. There are so many ‘hidden’ jobs out there, just talking about all the different people that work at London’s Air Ambulance Charity, from the medical team to the fire crew and the different jobs in our charity office, can help to open their eyes and broaden their horizons to what might be possible. There’s so much more to our organisation than the people you see in their orange flight suits.

How can schools/teachers get involved with our charity?

We have classroom resources for Secondary Schools that are linked to the Key Stage 3 curriculum that are free to download from our website. We are developing primary school resources to be launched later this year. I’m always happy to hear from schools interested in organising a visit either for an assembly talk or a visit from our Helivan.