Lisa Oulton, Future Foundry

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Introducing young people to freelancing in employment and teaching them about business and offering training for them was the central message of the speaker at this week’s meeting (30th) of the Rotary Club of Dover. Lisa Oulton, Director of Future Foundry and a sculptor by trade, showed how committed she was to supporting a resilient, diverse, excited and determined, hopeful generation of young creators through the monthly Student Markets held in Dover’s Biggin Street and the Biggin Hall. Dover, she said, was “known” as one of the best such markets and she praised young individuals from Dover and elsewhere locally for their talents and their creative drive shown on the stalls they operate at the markets which showcase all their hand made goods. In addition to Dover other markets include Hackney, Canterbury, Faversham and Rye.

Her aim was to move the young people on to unique design and to that end she runs workshops to help the potential self employed make a success of their creativity. Her focus was on less advantaged young people, whether academically or socially, who needed teaching about creative business. She cited two local examples – a young lady who makes fascinators and who sells out when in the market place but who needed help with materials and enhancing quality and a young man who is talented in the field of ceramics -  as examples of among 400 young people throughout Kent to benefit from the Student Markets and the aid offered by Lisa and her business. With help from Big Local Lisa told of how the Dover group of young people had bonded together so well and she thanked the Rotary Club and members of the Dover Community Association for the recent imaginative refurbishment of Biggin Hall which the group now uses for their training purposes. She was introduced by Simon Crowley of Tersons and a driving force behind the acquisition of Biggin Hall and its refurbishment undertaken mainly through the voluntary efforts of the members of the Rotary Club.

Also at the meeting the members were pleased to welcome a new member when President Dave Smith inducted Graham Ayers who was proposed by Roger Knight. Mr Ayers, whose classification is Marine Consultant, has spent a lifetime in the engineering world in particular with Townsend Thoresen and then P & O rising to Chief Engineer on the cross channel ferries and had also spent time with Dover Harbour Board.