Last month the PONToon team attended a cross-border event in Plymouth where partners from across the UK and France came together to test our apps and make plans for the final year of the project. This event gave the team the opportunity to reflect on what had been a busy and productive year.
Since December 2018, the core PONToon Team at the University of Portsmouth has grown from just five to nine, with new recruits including Toni Atanasova, our Communications Specialist, Sue Boundford, taking the role of Project Coordinator, and Vivian Ezugha, Mariea Cawthorne and Louise Hounsell working as Ambassadors across the local community.
Following testing with both French and British participants in May the project’s app development has progressed steadily with the creation of a Digital Toolbox comprised of an innovative recruitment website prototype, Career Guide mobile application, Skills articles and a VR game designed to help users familiarise themselves with the process of taking a train. Testers are invited to trial these apps on pontoonapps.com
In the summer, the team put on the first PONToon festival and invited members of the community to attend a series of workshops. These workshops covered employability skills such as CV Writing, interview skills, and entrepreneurship, as well as various digital skills such as photography, videography and blogging. This three-day event was promoted and supported by PONToon Ambassadors Louise Hounsell and Hollie Eve who visited a number of community groups in the city to recruit participants and supported attendees during the event. Their hard work meant that the project was able to engage with women from the Community Day Rehab Centre, Solent Recovery and Job Centre, making sure that PONToon’s interventions were felt where it is needed the most.
Entering its last year, the project is moving into its final phase with a focus on transferability. Part of this work will be to reflect on what we have learned and pass on that knowledge to other service providers. Following testing with participants, our apps will be tested by stakeholders and businesses. Furthermore, plans are afoot for the development of a social enterprise in Caen, France and a similar venture in the UK. To follow the project’s progress subscribe to the newsletter on pontoonproject.eu