From Paperclip to TV!

Pompey in the Community are working in partnership with Jobsite to deliver a 10 week programme for young people that are not in employment, education or training to help them increase their skills and enhance their employability prospects.

This week the team had an ‘Apprentice’ style challenge to complete; their task was the ‘Paperclip Challenge’. Two teams were given 4 hours to trade up their paperclip for something bigger and better…their final traded item would then be traded up by the CEO of Portsmouth Football Club and any profits generated put towards materials for a community project the Beyond Blue participants will be undertaking in the final 4 weeks of the programme.

It is amazing how far 1 red paperclip can be traded up…the team had their inspiration set early in the day as Mark Catlin, CEO of Portsmouth Football Club launched the Paperclip challenge in the morning…the teams watched an inspirational Ted talk about a Canadian blogger named Kyle McDonald who once traded up 1 red paperclip for a house.

Four participants of the Beyond Blue programme took to the streets of Portsmouth supported by one member of staff from both Jobsite and Pompey in the Community to see how far they could ‘trade up’ their 1 red paperclip.

Here’s the story of the two teams successful trades….

1 red paperclip named Fred was originally traded up at the Beneficial Foundation for a heart shaped notice board, a canvas picture of a lighthouse, a box of 30 dried floral arrangements, a greetings card and two 5” pinky-purple tinsel Christmas trees. From there the team moved onto Fratton Park Tescos and traded up the two Christmas trees for 3 I-pad Air protective cases and keyboards and an Easter Egg.

Next up the team ventured to the local Ibis Hotel where they were treated to four hot drinks by the hotel staff and then traded up their Easter Egg for one night’s accommodation at the hotel. Moving onto Albert Road, the team then ventured into Southern TV Services where they traded up an I-pad Air case for a TV with built in DVD player and remote control – and were given the I-pad Air case back again to continue trading elsewhere! Next they moved onto CJ Consulting and traded up an I-pad Air case for two TV wall brackets – and once again were given the I-pad Air case back again to continue trading elsewhere! Finally the team went into James Henry Hairdressing and traded up their heart-shaped noticeboard and 5 floral arrangements for a haircut.

Meanwhile in the other team….1 red paperclip named Bill was originally traded up at the Beneficial Foundation for Bodyshop Handcream and some handmade greetings cards. The group then also headed for Tescos Fratton Park where Gemma, their Community champion traded in some handcream for some top of the range Blue Tooth Headphones! Unbelieveable and “Thank you Gemma!”

From there the group made a few unsuccessful visits to local shops on their way to Albert Road where they ventured into an extremely busy music shop, “Street Level”. The gentleman in there wasn’t interested in ours wares but found the project itself fascinating so donated a beautiful, palm tree decorated, pink ukulele. The group were a little overwhelmed with his generosity and with renewed confidence headed further down Albert Road. Bored of Southsea then donated a ceramic mug to help us a bit more. We traded our handmade cards for two glass animals; the blue chicken was then traded up for a chocolate Easter Egg in the Coco Chocolate Boutique on Palmerston Road. It was then time for lunch but we were penniless – using 6 of our bottles of hand cream we asked the Marmion Pub if they’d be interested in a trade and they provided lunch and a drink for the team – again another huge thank you!

We returned at the end of the day with Blue Tooth headphones, a pink ukulele, 12 remaining bottles of hand cream, a chocolate Easter Egg and a blue glass snail! At the end of the day’s trading the teams reunited to share their successful trading up stories in a boardroom presentation to Mark Catlin. As well as explaining their trade ups, the participants spoke about the skills they had gained through the experience. A variety of life skills have been gained or improved ranging from communication to negotiation skills with all participants noting an improvement in their confidence when speaking to others – a vital skill in any future work role. Mark has taken on the challenge to make one final trade up on behalf of the group and will now do his best to trade up the TV in support of the team’s project. Find out how Mark gets on with his trade up by following the #1redpaperclipchallenge story on our social media @PompeyITC

Special thanks to all of the local businesses who supported the young people in their challenge.




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