In this country it is traditional for schools to give a major focus to academic development as they compete for success in the school league tables. However at Evolve: A Social Impact Company we place our focus on developing every child and are well aware that there are other areas that need highlighting – specifically the health, talents and passions of the young learners.
Examples of non academic focus areas are Entertainment, Sports, Business and understanding and being responsible for our own Health. Project HE:RO has been lucky enough to gain the support of some inspiring individuals in these areas.
Entertainment – Kimberley Walsh
Performing Arts has a major appeal for young children and can become a career for the very lucky ones and still be a fulfilling element in the lives of all those who fall under the performing spell. Kimberley Walsh has already enjoyed great success as a singer with Girls Aloud and is now further adding to her reputation by starring as Princess Fiona in the Shrek musical in the West End. Performing arts is Kimberley’s passion and she is also an accomplished dancer and actress. Kimberley will always be looking to extend her career in different directions because of the pleasure that performing brings to her.
Sport – Tom Cleverley
Tom Cleverley, the Manchester United and young England footballer has also given his support to Project HE:RO in a year that has seen him make that all important breakthrough to national recognition. Tom is a gifted all rounder – as well as his football skills he is a competent golfer and while on work placement at Evolve proved a capable IT expert improving our system no end. Like Kim, Tom is turning his passion into a career and as such has a plentiful supply of the dedication that is needed to reach the top of his chosen profession.
Hard work and dedication needed to succeed in the worlds of Entertainment, Sport and Business
Successful careers such as those that Kim and Tom are currently enjoying can come about for a variety of reasons but none can be more satisfying than turning your passion into your career through hard work and dedication. However hard work and dedication will always pay off in the end and particularly so in the world of Business.
Jack Tordoff, MBE – humble beginnings
In that vein Project HE:RO is delighted to announce that it has been given the opportunity to feature the inspirational story of Jack Tordoff, MBE, who agreed to let us use his story as an example to inspire the next generation. Jack’s father was a mechanic and with two friends started a company fixing and maintaining motor vehicles.
Jack was a young boy who liked working with his hands and it was not long before he was the person all his schoolmates went to when their bikes got damaged and needed to be fixed. Soon Jack was helping out around the garage when tragedy struck the family as Jack’s father died from a heart attack when Jack was only fourteen years of age. Despite his age Jack felt that he had to take on the role of head of the house for his mother and sister.
After leaving school at fifteen with no formal qualifications Jack eventually built his JCT600 motor group from scratch to become the largest privately owned motor group in the North of England. Jack borrowed £1,000 from his Mother to start the business which now has 48 garages and JCT600 are now the approved supplier in Yorkshire and the North East for Bentley, Ferrari, Maserati, Aston Martin, Porsche and also have Lotus Audi, BMW, Mini, Mercedes-Benz, Smart, Vauxhall, Peugeot, Volkswagen, Mazda, Chrysler, Chevrolet and Seat. These representations are in Bradford, Shipley, Leeds, Wakefield, York, Hull, Sheffield, Chesterfield, Doncaster, Newcastle, Lincoln, Boston and Grimsby.
The total staff numbers around 1,400 people and they have an iconic Head Office and Training Centre in Apperley Bridge, inside the Bradford boundary. Jack’s son John is now Chief Executive and works there along with other directors and a support team.
JCT600 have won all the awards that the motor trade offers and Jack personally won the Yorkshire Business Leader of the Year in 2005 and an MBE in 2007/2008. He is also honorary Life President at Bradford City Football Club where he was once Chairman. Not bad for a boy who left school with no formal qualifications!
Business lessons learned by Jack Tordoff that transfer to schools in his own words
As an individual
“I started in 1946 in one garage on Sticker Lane in Bradford. There was nobody to ‘show me the ropes’ – I learned from listening to other people’s conversations and picking up helpful advice along the way from my elders. Common sense and being considerate to others played a big part in building my successful business. It is essential that you earn the respect of others in all walks of life. If somebody respects you, they can be inspired by you.”
Teamwork is essential
“There was no school that taught ‘business’ back then, but our small but solid unit shared the same vision – we wanted to be the best in the motor business. There are lots of things that contribute to a successful team: the main foundations being its people, the ability to recognise each team member’s strengths and weaknesses, communicating openly and honestly with your team and to instill the right disciplines. With these foundations in place, success can be achieved and respect can be earned. Building a business is no different to building a football team or indeed a successful school.”
“Another valuable lesson to learn is that if you want success, you can never settle for being ‘second best’. In order to achieve, you have to want to achieve. You can never give up – determination is the key to success. People want to work for a successful, well-respected company or school – whether it’s starting as an apprentice mechanic or at a more senior level – each and every person is important and contributes towards the success, or failure, of any business.”
“Recruiting and keeping the right people in the right jobs is important – time has to be taken to ensure that the right people are recruited. Whilst job prospects and the ability to progress are important to some people, it’s not important to everyone. Society, like any business or school, needs a wide variety of people with different skills – but all sharing the common goal of achieving success. It’s important to look after those people who do a good job and as an employer today, the right benefits have to be offered to attract the right people to suit the business requirements.”
“Discipline in the pocket is equally as important as discipline in the workplace. It’s important to ensure your team-players know the disciplines they have to work within and to ensure any inappropriate behaviour is dealt with immediately. This in turn leads to effective man-management and respect as everyone is treated equally and fairly. No team wants a ‘Superstar’ who gets preferential treatment because every person in the team plays their part and has their own significance and importance. Similarly, good behaviour must be recognised and a pat on the back goes a long way to boost morale.”
Jack on what schools need to concentrate on in today’s climate:
“It is important to offer a wide variety of opportunities to children at an early age. Let them try many things and really encourage them to join in with everything. Developing many interests early in life is crucial because nobody knows what talent is within and what the future may hold.”
Advice that Jack has given to his children, grandchildren and then great grandchildren:
“I tell them to respect other people. In particular, to realise that every child is important as they are all our future. I tell them to develop a winning attitude to everything they undertake. Have a go at everything with your best effort. That way you will get far more out of it.”
What Jack thinks about Project HE:RO:
“Project HE:RO is a good idea because there is a great need to focus on developing all children at an early age. The children are more important than the subjects and any exams. The Health Mentors are inspiring children when they are young and willing to learn and develop. They help children understand how to try and succeed and be better by working hard with focus.”
Jack on how Evolve could grow and increase its impact:
“Evolve should create a company culture where only the best is good enough. The staff should be at their best at all times, smartly turned out, respectful, encouraging and hard working. Always realising how important their work is. They must really believe and want to work hard because they have chosen a massive task.”
One final quote:
“Whatever you want to do you with your life you must focus, work hard and create your own winning attitude to succeed.”