The eagle-eyed amongst those of you that plough through all my rubbish on the reflector, may have spotted that my career has been taking a very different trajectory over the past 4 years. When I was a full-time school teacher, I had managed to negotiated to have the Foundation Licence course as part of timetabled school lessons to Year 7 and Year 8 students for two hours a week, something I believe was unique (as opposed to running it as an extra-curricular activity).
This venture was very well supported by my friends in SOTA, and a good number of rigs, plus other items like ATUs, power supplies, headphones, logbooks etc were generously donated for use in this project. A good number of newly licensed young radio amateurs were brought into the hobby, and we used to run a SOTA outing at the end of each course.
Since leaving full-time teaching, I have been filling in between my gigs and tours with some supply teaching. I looked for opportunities to introduce amateur radio to the schools I was working at, but nothing suitable materialised - until now!
One of the schools I visit from time-to-time is in Stoke-on-Trent, and in fact a neighbouring school to the one I was a maths teacher at for many years. One of the employees there is a friend of mine - Leigh M5GWH - and he has set up an amateur radio club and licence courses at the school. Leigh has an interesting model that provides opportunities for both students at the school, and members of the public.
He has made me one of the licensed officers of the club, and yesterday I handed over all the rigs and gear. The one thing Leigh was struggling with was equipment - but not any longer - he now has plenty for what he needs.
I will be helping out with supervising Foundation practical assessments when I am available, and visiting the school to give talks on SOTA and other aspects as and when.
I’m delighted that all the equipment is again being put to good use, and indeed the use intended when generously donated, largely by the SOTA community.