Students get a taste of how to run a business

Jackie Maxwell, from Doddington Dairy, with KEVI pupils at the Milk Bar in Wooler.
Jackie Maxwell, from Doddington Dairy, with KEVI pupils at the Milk Bar in Wooler.

A group of students got a taste of running their own business as they worked on a design brief for an ice-cream parlour in north Northumberland.

Pupils from King Edward VI School (KEVI), in Morpeth, took part in the project as part of their Careers, Enterprise and Enrichment week, which is part of the school’s commitment in preparing their students for the realities of adult life.

Headteacher Simon Taylor said: “As a school, we understand that on completion of their GCSEs or A-Levels, we send students into a highly competitive world where they require skills of autonomy, resilience and team work and not just great academic results.

“Thanks to the support of a range of regional and national business such as Aldi, the NHS and Newcastle United, we feel that this week is an excellent introduction to the challenges of the world of work.”

The design brief was set by Rothbury-based design and marketing agency Lazy Grace, which was working with Doddington Dairy on plans for its new Milk Bar and ice-cream parlour at Wooler.

“It was perfect timing,” said Ian McAllister, project manager at Lazy Grace. “We had just started to work on the corporate identity, signage, and whole look and feel of this new venture for Doddington Dairy and we felt that it would be an interesting exercise to see what they came up with for a real live project.”

During a presentation session at the Milk Bar, the Year 11 students explained their ideas and showed of their designs for everything from logos, websites and menus to interior design schemes, opening events and even designs for staff uniforms.

“The breadth and quality of the ideas they came up with was simply amazing,” said Jackie Maxwell, who runs the business with husband Neill and the team at Doddington Dairy. “We were especially impressed with the idea of highlighting the location of the business using a Route 697 logo and name.

“Being located on the side of the A697, probably the quietest major road from Newcastle to Edinburgh, we felt that this would make a great advertising campaign to raise awareness of the route as well as the treats on offer along the way.”

For all of their hard work, 20 of the team who worked on the project were rewarded with a trip to the parlour to sample many of the ice-creams on offer.