Our first ever children’s story book ‘When I Grow Up’ has officially launched today to coincide with World Book Day – and has been recognised by celebrity architect George Clarke, BBC’s DIY SOS star Billy Byrne and other famous faces from the construction industry.
Aimed at 4-7 year olds, the book has been penned to address the skills crisis in the sector and builds on the existing work our team have done with KS2 children (age 7-12) as part of our Positive Impact Plan. Our aim is to engage with at least 5,000 children by 2025 to inspire young people and encourage them to consider the construction industry.
Author of the book, Rich Smith, who is a dad of two young children aged 5 and 2, and our business development director, said: “We are passionate about developing skills throughout our business and the wider industry. By pledging to educate the next generation about construction and engineering, we can do our bit to ensure we continue to attract skilled workers to the sector.
“We wanted to use the book as a fun and engaging way to educate children on the broad opportunities the construction sector has to offer and show that it is an industry that can appeal to both girls and boys. We hope to inspire young people and encourage them to consider the construction industry.
“So far, we have been overwhelmed with the response to the book. DIY SOS star Billy Byrne read the book to his grandchildren and said he loved it and George Clarke has sent us a signed copy of the book. We’ve even had interest from as far as Australia with copies of the book going to schools over there.”
A narrated animated video of the book has also been created, making the story accessible to all. For children with hearing impairments, we have also created our first ever video with sign language. Our 19-year-old apprentice estimator Adam Scattergood who has been profoundly deaf since birth and had a cochlear when he was three years old, has provided the sign language on the video.
The book, which has been fully developed by our own team, follows children Harry and Amy who are considering their future careers as part of their school careers day competition. The story covers a range of engineering activities and demonstrates to children that without the work of those in the construction industry, many other roles would not be possible.
Katie Smith, a female bricklayer and social media influencer reviewed When I grow up. She said: “It’s a truly golden book covering all areas – the skills shortage, diversity, equality, gender equality and beating that good old stigma allowing young girls to see it’s ok if they decided they wanted to gain a trade or join the construction industry when they grow up – chase your dreams kids!”
The book is being launched at one of the Nottinghamshire firm’s local primary schools, St Mary Magdalene C of E in Sutton-in-Ashfield. During the launch, staff members will complete various STEM focused activities with the primary school children to help bring the story to life.
Sam Robinson, headteacher at St Mary Magdalene C of E primary school, said: “This is a really well thought out book. The rhymes and illustrations are an excellent way to engage children in STEM subjects as well as giving a vital message to children about working together to bring about an end result. It’s innovative, entertaining and absorbing.”
The book is available for free in order to spread the message as widely as possible to the next generation. However, if anybody wants to support our fundraising for our corporate charity partner Mind, they can make a donation by following this link: https://justgiving.com/fundraising/nmcn4mind.
For further information or to request a copy of the book, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We’d love to see photos of you enjoying the book so please share on social media and tag nmcn (don’t forget to use the hashtag #WhenIGrowUp #PositiveImpact) or send them over to us at email@example.com
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