RAF Northolt 'Inspiring Women' Event
On Thursday 5th May Mrs Jeff and I had the pleasure of attending the RAF Northolt ‘Inspiring women’ event along with fifteen Year 9 girls. It was an exceptionally positive day put on by the RAF to inspire girls to look at careers that have been historically dominated by men.
We were greeted by the Station Commander, Group Captain Toria McPhaden in the officer's mess where we learnt that all jobs in the RAF are now open to women. The students were in awe of the traditionally decorated hall and the cabinets displaying a range of military memorabilia. Across the day we attended a total of 15 sessions, the most notable including:
- a walkaround of the Chinook helicopter and an opportunity to sit in the cockpit
- a mock court trial arranged by the RAF and army lawyers
- an opportunity to see the bomb disposal unit’s robot and get into their truck and sound the sirens
- a talk from Aston Martin and a chance to sit in the car that many of us could never dream of owning!
- a problem solving activity to see if the students had the skills to be future engineers
The students very much enjoyed the day but more importantly gained an understanding of a much greater range of careers that they were previously unaware of.
Aahana from 9B said, 'It was a thrilling experience and a great inspiration for women. It was fun, engaging and interactive. I absolutely loved the variety of jobs showcased and it really inspired me to join STEM careers and also to try new roles and educate myself. It has opened my eyes to a lot’.
The day ended in style with a memorial departure by the Chinook helicopter, a viewing of the Queen’s flag (worth approximately £35,000) and a show by the RAF band. We were even lucky enough to get an impromptu rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ for one of our students, Kyran, whose birthday it was.