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Innovation and creativity put hi-impact in line for another major award

THE vast opportunities dreamed of by hi-impact consultancy as it set out to create new ways to introduce school children to the exciting world of science and technology has led to the company being shortlisted for a major business award.

Winning the Creative Impact Award at the Liverpool Echo Business Awards is now within reach of hi-impact for its groundbreaking delivery of knowledge to scores of schools locally, nationally and internationally.

The shortlist announcement follows hot on the heels of the company's achievement in winning the Liverpool John Moores  Innovation and Technology Award at the Echo Environmental Awards which recognised the best of the region's environmental projects and the people who are striving to make Merseyside a greener place.

Seeking successful finalists for the Creative Impact category in the Liverpool Echo Business Awards - the biggest in the Merseyside region - judges were looking for evidence that creative work had led directly to improved business performance.

Set up 10 years ago with just one school client on its books, hi-impact is now embedding technology into the curriculum of education providers with its engaging experiences in the world of science, computing, engineering, electronics and telecommunications.

Whether sending 360 degree cameras into space to gain footage and data of the Earth’s atmosphere or using a humanoid robot which introduces and develops skills in programming, the hi-impact team gives opportunities to schools and its pupils – many in areas of social deprivation - that budget constraint does not allow.

From that original contract, hi-impact has experienced rapid growth, 40 per cent of Wirral's primary schools now using its services. Pupils from more than 150 schools throughout the UK and abroad – primary, secondary and in the independent sector - are today being introduced to its groundbreaking delivery of technology and models of the hi-impact operation and consultancy services being exported outside the UK.

Staff numbers have increased to 30 and turnover has reached more than £1m. This expansion has seen the business move from its original small premises in Wirral to larger offices in Birkenhead then, last year, to an even bigger site on Wirral International Business Park in Bromborough.

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Alan Thompson, managing director at         hi-impact, said: “Ten years ago, we had no idea where the business would go – but schools are such superb places of creativity and we could envisage the opportunities those early technologies offered to enrich the curriculum.

“I am incredibly proud of what we, as a team, have achieved since then and how much fun it has been getting to where we are today. Being on the shortlist for recognition of these achievements at a major event like the Echo Business Awards is wonderful news. Winning the trophy after our other recent awards success would be truly amazing.”

Winners of the Echo Business Awards will be announced at a ceremony at St George's Hall, Liverpool, on Thursday, June 22.

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hi-impact catch up with young female football coach Emma Gould

Emma Gould is one of Tranmere Football Clubs talented young football coaches currently out in China as part of our initiative with the Little London School. Emma is based in Inner Mongolia, China, in the capital city Hohhot and her job consists of teaching Chinese juniors football and developing the coaching structure in the country. Emma has worked as a coach for Connah's Quay academy back in the UK and has also played for Tranmere Rovers Ladies as Goalkeeper. 

Emma's First Blog:

"We moved to the City of Ordos on Sunday last week and started our work straight away by scouting elite players from the Mayor's Cup, looking to take them to the Little London Football School academy. Great facilities were in use, with 4g pitches and stadia in the high schools! A good standard of players was seen throughout Saturday and Sunday and we scouted just over 30 players.

"Over the course of the week we introduced development sessions for coaches, in which the coaches from the town would come each morning throughout to have lectures and practical sessions to widen their knowledge of coaching young players and to share ideas.

"Additionally, we travelled to various schools to work with children of different age groups from kindergarten right through to high school, providing football sessions for the children. The level of enthusiasm and time these schools put into their football is fantastic, and over the course of four days we visited five different schools showcasing our football sessions!

"At the end of the week the coaches we had been mentoring gave their own coaching sessions in front of the education bureau to promote the work we had been doing. We then joined the education bureau and took a tour around the city schools in which they showcased their facilities and sports to the governing body.

"We have had a great experience in this city so far not only on the coaching side, but also the welcoming we have had from the people of Ordos has been incredible! We look forward to providing more sessions within the schools as well as to the teams that will look for development sessions through the club. You can see from everyone's enthusiasm and positivity, that this is going to be something big, a massive opportunity for football in China, but also for us football coaches!

"Thanks to Tranmere Rovers FC and the Little London Football School for giving us this amazing opportunity!"

Tranmere are currently recruiting more coaches of FA Level 1, FA Level 2 and UEFA B standard, both male and female, to coach out in China and will be sending coaches out throughout this year. Read more at http://www.tranmererovers.co.uk/news/article/2016-17/china-update-3671806.aspx#265XWbKy4zP36VyZ.99

 

"Thanks to Tranmere and little London football school for working so well, we get this amazing opportunity" - Emma and jack

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hi-impact's young sports reporters get ready for media careers

BUDDING sports reporters in Wirral are becoming pitch perfect and ready to take on the challenges of careers in the media.

A unique partnership with Tranmere Rovers FC and IT innovators hi-impact consultancy is training youngsters to become the TV sports presenters and media specialists of the future.

Workshops at Prenton Park before Saturday home games have been equipping young fans on the Tranmere Junior Media Team with skills in writing match reports, sports photography, interviewing techniques, green screen reporting, and editing their own Tranmere video blogs.

Professional technical and photographic kit is all available to the youngsters, aged between nine and 13, to report on the Tranmere games. Then after the practical sessions comes the excitement of writing and broadcasting match reports from the press box and taking pictures from the pitch side with the club's official photographer.

hi-impact, whose headquarters are in Bromborough, uses innovative creative learning methods involving computing and IT to bring technology to life for schoolchildren across Merseyside as well as throughout the rest of the UK and abroad.

However, its partnership with Tranmere Rovers is the first link-up with a major football club to bring media skills and sport together as an open door to media-related careers.

Simon Sloan, operations manager at hi-impact, said: “Working voluntarily with Tranmere, a club firmly rooted in the Wirral community, our staff have built this unique partnership where young people who are mad keen on all aspects of the media – plus a love of sport – can use their passion for the Super White Army as a means of learning new creative skills.

“The 15 members of the Tranmere Junior Media Team are all die-hard fans and love the workshops where they can meet and interview their heroes. The players are brilliant too and help and support the young people by making themselves available for interview and off-pitch comment.

“Parents are backing the media team wholeheartedly as well. One young reporter, who is now planning to take an A-level in Media Studies as a result of the course, has turned the bathroom at home into a studio because it has the best light!

“He conducts mock interviews among his family, with his father taking various roles – from Tranmere chairman Mark Palios to the club's coach driver.”

Twelve-year-old Luke Armitage, another of the junior reporters, has created his own YouTube channel called LXA where he reports and comments on all things Tranmere Rovers.

A pupil at The Mosslands School in Wallasey, Luke said: “I'm doing the two things I like best – being at the club and getting involved first-hand with the players and producing my own video channel, all of which will hopefully get me my dream job as a Sky Sports TV presenter.”

Highlighting the work of the Tranmere Junior Media Team is the website www.juniorsuperwhites.com which is maintained by hi-impact along with the Twitter account @trfcmediateam and Facebook page www.facebook.com/JSWMediaTeam

Wirral school children who will be in Years 5 to 8 as of September 2017 can apply to be on next season’s junior media team by completing the online form at www.juniorsuperwhites.com/application - please note that places are very limited.

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Green initiatives win hi-impact major environmental award

The hi-impact team is presented with the Liverpool John Moores University Innovation and Technology Award by Professor Mike Riley (second from left), head of Department of Built Environment

The hi-impact team is presented with the Liverpool John Moores University Innovation and Technology Award by Professor Mike Riley (second from left), head of Department of Built Environment

THE use of cutting-edge technology in the battle to save and protect the environment has won hi-impact consultancy a top award.

The company won the Liverpool John Moores Innovation and Technology Award at the prestigious Echo Environmental Awards which recognise the best of the region's environmental projects and the people who are striving to make Merseyside a greener place.

The business competed against other organisations which have developed energy efficient technologies or adapted existing technology in a novel way to make a beneficial impact on the environment.

Managing director Alan Thompson said: “Winning this award is testament to our commitment to use innovative technology as a means of reducing not only our own energy usage but also bring massive cost and energy solutions to schools and other businesses all over Merseyside.

“To describe ourselves as a leading light in the field of energy saving technology is no idle boast but to be recognised by others for the work we do is a great achievement.”

As part of an initiative to introduce low energy computing into schools, the consultancy designed and installed low energy computers for a Birkenhead primary where the school's Eco Committee is monitoring energy usage comparisons against a traditional PC infrastructure. This innovative programme now has other Merseyside schools following suit.

The company, a former winner of the Thinking Outside the Box Award in the Merseyside Independent Business Awards and a finalist in the Echo Business Awards later this year, is also working with Sure Save Energy and Tranmere Rovers FC on the Green Rover energy saving initiative to bring together other like-minded organisations to deliver millions of pounds-worth of energy saving solutions and environmentally friendly projects to schools and businesses.

To help cut its own energy usage, hi-impact recently installed low energy computers, LED lighting and environmentally friendly ventilation at its new headquarters in Power Road, Bromborough.

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The hi-impact journey that turned a vision into reality

AN INCREDIBLE business journey is being celebrated by hi-impact consultancy as it reaches a major milestone in its history of bringing innovative technology to young people.

Ten years on, a vision inspired by teachers sitting around a kitchen table in Wirral has now become the reality of a pioneering operation whose innovative and creative learning methods are bringing the curriculum to life for hundreds of children, many of primary school age, for whom access to this level of technology would otherwise be impossible.

Civic dignitaries, Wirral South MP Alison McGovern, partners, suppliers and neighbouring businesses on Wirral International Business Park joined staff from hi-impact at the official opening of the company's new headquarters at Innovation House in Power Road.

The opening ceremony was carried out by the Mayor of Wirral, Cllr Pat Hackett, who said: “The celebration today is all about the development, growth, vision and success of a Wirral business. That vision - to enrich teaching and learning with the use of innovative technologies - has made a difference to the lives of teachers and children across Wirral, the UK and even abroad.

“I am flabbergasted by the technology available to our children today to engage them and make learning so much fun. I've seen robots in all shapes and sizes, 3D printers, crafts that children have sent into space, inflatable fish and even gallons of custard that I believe children can walk on in their science lessons - for the first time I really wish I was back at school!

“Nationally, hi-impact takes these fantastic experiences to 20,000 children and our local schools are going from strength to strength as each year more headteachers, teachers, governors and children benefit from this expertise that we have on our doorstep. Consultants are some of the best brains in the Edu-Tech world and it's great to think that when schools throughout the country look for the very best innovation, they look to hi-impact in Wirral.

“The talented team of technicians here have designed systems and an infrastructure that means these wonderful technologies actually work and teachers are confident to use them in their lessons without fear of them doing something unexpected.

“In this day and age, we all worry so much about our children living in an online world - talking to strangers and having access to things that we don’t even want to think about - and I feel reassured to hear about the number of children, parents and teachers who have benefitted from hi-impact training on internet safety so that thousands of children can go online safely in school.”

MP Alison McGovern added: “The hi-impact vision shows what can be achieved by believing anything is possible and pushing your boundaries to adapt to the rapidly changing world of innovative technology.

“It also sends a message nationwide – and further afield – that companies like hi-impact are leading the field when it comes to integrating this technology into the school curriculum so our young people are introduced from an early age to exciting and engaging experiences in science, computing, engineering, electronics and media.”

hi-impact consultancy was set up 10 years ago when the first vision for the company was pieced together by a small group of Wirral teachers at the kitchen table of its managing director Alan Thompson.

From its beginnings with just one contract, the company now has nearly half of Wirral's schools using its services. Pupils from over 100 schools in Merseyside and across the UK – primary and secondary - are today being introduced to its groundbreaking delivery of technology. Models of the hi-impact operation and consultancy services are also being exported outside the UK.

At the opening ceremony, Alan said: “This is the start of a new chapter in our history and, as well as being a celebration of our new office, is also a chance to reflect on a decade of hi-impact.

“Ten years ago, we had no idea where the business would go – it just seemed like a good idea. Schools are such superb places of creativity and we could envisage the opportunities those early technologies offered to enrich the curriculum.

“I am incredibly proud of what we, as a team, have achieved since then and how much fun it has been getting to where we are today. The uncertainty of the future is what makes it so bright.

“This time last year we didn't know we would now be working with schools in Malta and India and that we would have an incredible science offering that's transforming the way in which the subject is taught to young people.”

Also among the VIPs at the official opening was Mark Palios, owner and executive chairman of Tranmere Rovers where hi-impact, official media partner of the club, provides video blogs, 3D imaging around the stadium, promotional videos and management of a junior media team.

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Green initiatives put hi-impact in line for major environmental award

A TOP award is in sight for hi-impact for its use of cutting-edge technology in the battle to save and protect the environment.

 

The company has been named as a finalist in the prestigious Echo Environmental Awards which recognise the best of the region's environmental projects and the people who are striving to make Merseyside a greener place.

Shortlisted for the Liverpool John Moores Innovation and Technology Award, hi-impact will be competing against other businesses which have developed energy efficient technologies or adapted existing technology in a novel way to make a beneficial impact on the environment.

Managing director Alan Thompson said: “To describe ourselves as a leading light in the field of energy saving technology is no idle boast but to be recognised by others for the work we do is a great achievement.

“Being shortlisted in these awards is testament to our commitment to use innovative technology as a means of reducing not only our own energy usage but also bring massive cost and energy solutions to schools and other businesses all over Merseyside.”

To help cut its own energy usage, hi-impact recently installed low energy computers, LED lighting and environmentally friendly ventilation at its new headquarters in Bromborough.

As part of an initiative to introduce low energy computing into schools, the consultancy designed and installed low energy computers for a Birkenhead primary where the school's Eco Committee is monitoring energy usage comparisons against a traditional PC infrastructure. This innovative programme now has other Merseyside schools following suit.

The company, a former winner of the Thinking Outside the Box Award in the Merseyside Independent Business Awards, is also working with Sure Save Energy and Tranmere Rovers FC on the Green Rover energy saving initiative to bring together other like-minded organisations to deliver millions of pounds-worth of energy saving solutions and environmentally friendly projects to schools and businesses.

Winners of the Echo Environmental Awards will be announced on Thursday, April 27.

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Be bold, says Georgia, and make a difference for women

A PASSION for women to succeed in the male-dominated tech world has given hi-impact's creative consultant Georgia Flynn a chance to showcase her talents at the country's leading media arts centre.

 

Georgia, 23, is producing a short film for Liverpool Girl Geeks entitled #BeBoldForChange for this year's International Women's Day which will be shown at FACT, the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, in Liverpool alongside a panel discussion and a screening of the film Code Girl.

As part of the organisation's 2017 campaign #BeBoldForChange, it will feature women talking about times they have had to be bold themselves to make a difference and pave the way for other women.

Screening will take place at FACT on International Women's Day on Wednesday, March 8. Before it starts, there will be a panel discussion hosted by Liverpool Girl Geeks, whose mission is to close the gender gap in the tech sector and to inspire girls and women of all ages to create change.

Panel members at the event - International Women's Day: Women in Tech - will share instances of when they have taken bold action to help improve or develop an aspect of their own livelihood, career or business or that of another woman's status.

Georgia, part of the media team at hi-impact consultancy's headquarters in Bromborough, was invited to produce the film by Liverpool Girl Geeks.

A former pupil of Weatherhead High School in Wallasey, Georgia, who is a blogger for Girl Geeks, says she is passionate about encouraging girls to be involved in the tech sector where, by the year 2040, it is estimated that still only 1 per cent will be female.

She said: “My real passion in this industry is photography and film-making and about a year ago I started photographing live gigs in Liverpool, producing some successful creative work. It's a hard area to break into, one where women aren't taken seriously and where there is a real need for change.

“When I was asked to make the film for International Women's Day's #BeBoldForChange campaign, I saw it as a great opportunity to become involved in such an important issue. Girls need to be bold, be groundbreakers and step into unchartered waters to drive this change for gender parity.

“As someone who loves photography and film-making, it's also a dream come true for me to have a film shown at such an important venue as FACT.”

 

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Geography comes to life with hi-impact balloon project

An aerial voyage of discovery has brought geography to life for a group of primary school children.

tethered balloon aerial photography project with hi-impact put famous Liverpool landmarks – as well as well-known sights in their own local community – within virtual touching distance for pupils of St Francis de Sales Catholic Junior School on the outskirts of the city in Walton.

The venture, part of the school's Key Stage Two curriculum, involved experts from hi-impact releasing the giant rope-tethered helium-filled balloon in the school playground, a 360-degree camera attached underneath it.

Using digital tablets, pupils could then experience immediate eye-in-the-sky views of their own community and further afield to the Liverpool waterfront.

Ian Wah, assistant headteacher in charge of computing, explained: “Pupils enjoy projects where, as part of geography-based lessons, we go out into the local community to explore the area around the school.“However, to put a different dimension on their learning, we thought it would be exciting to get hi-impact to come into school with their tethered balloon and camera equipment – an unusual and unique way of bringing the local area to us.

“The result was amazing. From the images, we were able to analyse the area all around us and connect the waterfront, its heritage and history with places familiar to us such as our school and homes. It was also great to see things like Goodison Park and Anfield.

“Pioneering projects like this are important to us as we regard ourselves as a forward-thinking school when it comes to technology and the balloon tether was something that really excited and inspired the children.

“It's vital that we try and stay ahead of technology, embracing new and innovative ideas such as those devised by hi-impact, whose experts share our vision of creating valuable new experiences for young people.”

 

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Education specialists' new partnership brings secure online exam testing to Wirral

WIRRAL education specialists, hi-impact consultancy, have become partners with the world's leading computer-based testing business to test examination candidates online in unique secure conditions.

The agreement between hi-impact and Pearson VUE means that candidates from Wirral and across the Liverpool City Region can now sit exams for thousands of certified qualifications in industry, government, health care, IT, finance and academia.

Testing is being carried out at the company's headquarters in Power Road, Bromborough and is the only Pearson VUE test centre for miles around.

Alan Thompson, managing director at hi-impact, said: “These are exciting times for us and our new partnership with Pearson VUE opens the door to so many people who have been studying hard with home or work-based learning.”

“Tests are carried out here in the most secure conditions, even down to electronic fingerprinting to ensure the right candidate is taking the exam.”

Up to 10 people can sit their exams on the same day even though they could each be taking qualifications in different subjects and with differing examination times. Results are speedily transmitted back, with the candidate’s certification status promptly updated.

Carl Heyes (hi-impact test manager) stated “To reach this partnership with Pearson VUE, we had to comply with their extremely rigorous demands to ensure we reached their very high standards of operation. Staff from hi-impact will act as examination invigilators and they too have received specialist training to make sure strict and secure test conditions are adhered to.”

“The testing system is the most powerful available and we are delighted to partner with a company whose industry status, technology and passion for excellence will allow us to provide an even greater service to our customers.”

Ray Murray, vice-president, business development at Pearson VUE, said: “We are proud to welcome hi-impact to the rapidly growing global network of Pearson VUE authorised test centres and together we are providing even more candidates with the opportunity to obtain meaningful certifications and advance their careers.” 

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