Dronfield Heritage Trust has won a major award in recognition of its work with students at Eckington School.
The Trust, which runs Dronfield Hall Barn on High Street, was presented with the prestigious East Midlands Chamber of Commerce Education and Business Partnership Award at a ceremony in Derby.
The Trust has had an association with Eckington School over a number of years starting with a project to build a scale replica of The Barn’s wooden frame from original Barn oak.
Since then, the partnership has developed, and this year, students from the school were involved in research and evaluation in connection with a corporate offer project, which had financial support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Working with Trust staff and outside consultants, the students were able to get “real world” experience of business needs and the student team made a major contribution to the success of the project overall.
Trust Commercial Manager Claire Wilks said: “We have had a close association with Eckington School, and we try to find an annual project which benefits both school students and the Trust. These have varied over the years involving different students and departments.
“As a Trust focussed on communities, our link with Eckington School has been of tremendous value to us, and at the same time gives students opportunities they might not otherwise have access to. It is a truly positive joint venture with all the advantages of being mutually beneficial.”
Employer Engagement Manager for Eckington School, Sally-Anne Warren-Armes said: “Developing a close relationship with Dronfield Hall Barn has enabled our students to take experiences of the workplace to a whole new level. We continue to develop new and exciting projects with our friends at The Barn and look forward to lots of exciting collaborations ahead.”
The award was presented to Claire and Sally-Anne by Andy Flinn, CEO of award sponsors RDS Global. He praised the outstanding achievement of the partnership between the Trust and school. He said they had jointly developed the sort of partnership which could be successfully replicated elsewhere. “They are trendsetters,” he said.
Chamber President Eileen Richards added: “It is fantastic to see the collaboration with educational institutions and businesses to make a positive impact to our future generation of business leaders. The skills that students are learning by participating in the project will equip them with them business acumen, communication and negotiating skills which will aid them as they enter the world of work.”
A further result of the collaboration has been the appointment of the Eckington School student team leader Ryan Holmes as a trustee of Dronfield Heritage Trust as part of a Young Trustee initiative.
Dronfield Heritage Trust supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.