PwC Jersey Young and Junior Musician of the Year Competitions
The PwC Jersey Junior Musician of the Year Competition is part of the Jersey Music Service’s provision of opportunities for musicians in Jersey and has been introduced in order to provide early performance and competition opportunities for students under the age of thirteen years (on 1 September) as a core part of their development as musicians. Competing at this level will provide valuable performance experience prior to entering the PwC Jersey Young Musician of the Year Competition when they reach the appropriate age. Both competitions welcome applications from strings, woodwind, piano, brass, vocal and percussion competitors. Pictured above are winners of this year's Junior event, Jonathan, Finlay, Nicholas, Matthew and Hendrik, who were presented with their awards by our Senior Partner, Brendan McMahon, on 4 March 2017.
We thoroughly enjoyed celebrating the 25th anniversary of the PwC Jersey Young Musician of the Year 2017 competition at the final on Saturday 4 March 2017 at The Jersey Opera House. A tough competition was fought out by all six finalists Millie-Rose, Matthew, Julia, Esther, Emilie and Daniel, but it was 14 year old pianist Esther Cushen who stole the show and clinched the title on the evening. Due to the milestone anniversary, we also enjoyed a past winners' ensemble performance with a difference, as well as welcoming back last year's winner, flautist Katharine Beirne, to once again wow us with a spectacular performance during the interval.
The annual Jersey Primary Football Festival
PwC was delighted to come on board once again in 2017 and support the 43rd Jersey Primary Football Festival this Easter break taking place from Sunday 9 to Friday 14 April, the festival was again the longest running of its kind in the British Isles, with the first one having being held way back in 1974. This year, teams with parents and coaches travelled from across the UK to take part in football matches and team-building activities during the Easter school holidays.
The festival has long been regarded as the pinnacle of under 11 football and has an important role to play in developing the aspirations of the Island’s young players. Every primary school on the Island is involved in primary school football, so we’re looking at a figure of about 700 children to start with, all of whom have an opportunity to trial for the festival over the months leading up to the event. It’s a great achievement for those local children selected to represent Jersey and follows the culmination of practice and hard work during the inter-school league programme.
About 280 children, parents and coaches alike gathered at FB Fields to kick off the festival on the Sunday morning and this year’s crop of Jersey’s rising stars trained very hard in preparation for action against some of the highly talented teams visiting from Barking & Dagenham, Erdington & Saltley, Gloucester, Hackney, Newbury, Orpington, Plymouth, Potters Bar, St Albans, Thurrock and Wokingham. In addition to our local Jersey teams taking part (which included an U10 team this year too), that actually brought the total number of teams involved up to 18, so there was definitely no shortage of new friendships formed again this year!
Of course it’s not just about the victories. Mark James, Partner at PwC CI commented: “We see the festival as a great example of the quality of work done in youth sport on the Island and it’s fantastic for Jersey’s reputation as a tourism and sporting destination, as well as for the children participating. It’s encouraging to see them playing well, enjoying their games and making new friends. We’re also proud to play a small part helping to embed the right behaviours and attitudes in the young football stars of the future, whilst highlighting some of the excellent work being done in junior football here in Jersey.”
He added, “We’re really enjoyed witnessing how all these young and energetic football enthusiasts had developed their sporting talent, as well as their self-confidence and teamwork skills, during the week-long festival.” Festival organiser, Pat Cullinane, added: “We are immensely grateful for the support from PwC. The event is more than just a football festival for the children attending. Each year, they also go on outings and activities in the afternoons. This builds their confidence and gives them opportunities to make new connections and forge new friendships with other teams that last long after they return home.
Room to Read: Understanding the power of literacy
Where possible, our team looks to help communities further afield too. Communities like those positively affected by 'Room to Read':
Room to Read, a global organisation transforming the lives of millions of children in low-income countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Over the years, PwC has become very close to Room to Read and, together with Ogier, we're keen to promote and support the great work it does to radically change millions of children's lives.
Founded in 2000 by a former Microsoft executive, John Wood, on the belief that World Change Starts with Educated Children®, Room to Read has now benefitted 10 million children across 17,500 communities in Asia and Africa.
Room to Read really appreciates the support already received from the Channel Islands, including the recent announcement of an award to be granted by Jersey Overseas Aid Commission for its work to rebuild Nepal. In celebration of this, as well to explore exciting opportunities as to how we can play a part in reaching its future ambitious goal of educating 15 million children by 2020, we held a special cocktail reception with Room to Read’s founder, John Wood, last year.
On the evening, John elaborated on how Room to Read envisions a world in which all children can pursue a quality education that enables them to reach their full potential and contribute to their community and the world. Please take a few minutes to appreciate the unique purpose and success of Room to Read by watching this recent France 24 TV interview on the power of literacy with John Wood.
As part of John's visit, he also presented at a breakfast business briefing that we hosted with Ogier on the topic of Impact Investing and Philanthropy. If you are interested in reading more about Room to Read, please click on the following links:
Collaboration with The HUB in Guernsey
We're currently supporting a number of important talks in Guernsey, in collaboration with 'The HUB', which are aimed at parents and guardians. We've already held four such events at the Centre for Performing Arts on such topics as 'Growing up online in Guernsey', and the positive influence parents can have on their children's self-esteem. All evenings had an excellent turnout with lots of positive media coverage and parental feedback generated as a result.
The next event on the schedule will take place on Thursday 18 May 2017 from 7pm at the Centre for Performing Arts. It will cover 'the importance of recognising the warning signs of emotional distress in children'. Those interested in attending should rsvp by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The information shared at these evenings really is invaluable to anyone with responsibility for a child and attendees at our past events really appreciated the opportunity to chat informally with the experts - which include clinic nurse experts Tony Collins and Claire Doonan on 18 May - on a one to one basis after the presentations.
Ride the Nation
The second ever PwC Charity Cycle Challenge, 'Ride the Nation 2017', is set to reach our shores on 4 and 5 June 2017. Its aim this year is to link the 31 PwC UK offices and all 23,000 staff from across the UK network, from Aberdeen to Plymouth and from the Channel Islands to Northern Ireland.
Ride the Nation 2015 remains the single largest event of its kind the UK firm has embarked upon, raising over £150,000 for The PwC Foundation and charities local to each and every office in the UK network, with over 700 staff taking part on their bikes with support from all grades of staff in all offices nationwide.
The event was conceived and continues to be organised and run solely by PwC staff, to demonstrate the firms ethos of doing the right thing in our communities, what can be achieved when we work together as One Firm and to physically connect us all in a way that, before May 2015, had never been done before.
PwC CI Director James de Veulle, regional Ride the Nation champion for PwC in the Channel Islands, said:
“It’s great to see so many of our CI team joining in this ambitious nationwide challenge. Whether it’s getting in the saddle to cycle the distance, fundraising or simply cheering colleagues on, it gives us all the opportunity to raise much needed funds for our own chosen charities as well as our network’s PwC Foundation, supporting our local community and making a difference to a lot of people’s lives.”
PwC Start to Swim programme
This programme offers free swimming lessons to all children of reception class age in Jersey, and is offered to all schools on the Island split over the Spring and Summer terms. This charitable giving is to the benefit of all children within this age bracket, island-wide, without exclusion. The programme builds children’s confidence and gives them an opportunity to accomplish a skill they may not otherwise get, and potentially discover a strength or natural ability they may have.
A snapshot of the feedback from parents and school teachers includes:
- ‘The overall experience has been invaluable. I would sincerely hope to be able to benefit from the scheme in future years. It’s essential that island children learn to swim!’
- ‘Nadia and Olivia who have very little English have gained so much and the confidence they now have is brilliant.’
- ‘It has been great to see less academic or quieter children shine in these sessions.’
- ‘Lara found it varied, fun and it filled her with confidence. She skipped to school on swimming day.’
- ‘Our children have really enjoyed swimming this term and we are very grateful that children who may not have had the opportunity to learn to swim are being able to this term.’
Every Child Our Future programme
Our Guernsey office is currently involved with the Every Child Our Future programme (“ECOF”). This is a registered charity created to support initiatives to improve both literacy and numeracy skills in Guernsey and cultivate a culture whereby the community collectively takes responsibility for education. This collaboration between the business sector, the community, States Education Department and schools aims to provide support and funding to tackle the widening gap between the highest and lowest achievers and the rich and poor. At PwC, we support this initiative through our people who volunteer to attend a local school once a week to help children with their reading. The programme runs over eight weeks and our volunteers have been enthusiastic about getting involved and enjoy the diversity it gives to their working week.
“I get the opportunity to attend a local school once a week to help children with their reading. This not only adds variety to my work day but also makes me feel that I am giving something back to society.” Natalie Boes, Assurance Manager, PwC in Guernsey.
"Personally, I found it very rewarding to see how the children have progressed after such a short period of time. I really looked forward to the days when I could visit the school as the children were an absolute pleasure to read with and they thrived on my encouragement." Helen Gallienne, PA, PwC in Guernsey.
Supporting British Science Week in Guernsey
On the evening of Wednesday 16 March at St James in Guernsey, Professor Adam Hart presented 'Saying it with Smells - how insects communicate with chemistry'.
Adam Hart is the Professor for Science communication at Gloucester University and the BBC presenter of Planet Ant on BBC2.
Many animals use chemicals known as pheromones to communicate. The insects, especially those that live together in societies like ants and honeybees, are the masters of "saying it with smells" and in this interactive lecture Professor Adam Hart (BBC Planet Ant, Hive Alive) will take you into their world, revealing how they can "talk with smells".
On the evening of Thursday 17 March at Ladies College in Guernsey, Professor Dudley Shallcross and Dr Tim Harrison presented, 'A Pollutant's Tale'.
Tim Harrison is the first School Teacher fellow at Bristol ChemLabs. He is also the Science Communicator in Residence and Director of Outreach. Dudley Shallcross is the Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry at Bristol. He leads the atmospheric chemistry group at Bristol whose research includes the atmospheric monitoring of important environmental gases, alongside the interpretation of this data. Dudley also works with Met Office.