Case Study: Mojo Active’s Cory Harrison

Mojo Active is one of Bristol’s best-equipped outdoor activity centres, located in 150 acres of private fields and woodland in Almondsbury. From its humble beginnings as a venue for birthday parties and bootcamp fitness sessions, it is now able to offer education programmes and often works with young people from challenging backgrounds.

The Mojo Active facilities and instructors provide a positive and developmental environment for young people to thrive. They pride themselves on using the outdoors as a medium to explore, enhance and make the groups they work with understand a variety of personal and team attributes. They attributes include respect, personal awareness, a sense of belonging, social cohesion, leadership, trust, and communication, along with many others. Many of the soft skills we often hear employers talk about. 

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Cory Harrison has been one of Mojo Active’s great success stories. Cory is the perfect ambassador for how an individual can flourish and succeed with a good work ethic, respect, loyalty and commitment despite being faced with adversity and challenging personal circumstances.

Cory has been with Mojo Active since he left school three years ago. The team decided to take him on due to the personal qualities he displayed whilst attending an early morning Rowing Academy that Mojo Active ran. The academy ran three mornings a week and Cory attended nearly every single session that was provided. He was always on time, if not early, and he was continuously eager to help set up the equipment. One morning, whilst Cory was nearing the end of Year 11, he didn’t turn up. This was very unusual and it became apparent that Cory actually had a job before rowing and on this particular occasion, he had been delayed as his bike was stolen.

The team at Mojo Active were taken aback by the realisation that Cory was not only an incredibly vigilant and determined member of the Rowing Academy but he was actually completing a shift of work before attending, further demonstrating his commitment. When Cory turned up late that morning and was extremely apologetic, Mark Johnson, Operations Manager, was stunned by his commitment, work ethic and respect, stating “I thought that this boy deserves a huge amount of respect and a chance”.

A few months later Cory was nearing the end of his final school year and Mark decided to take him aside and have a discussion with him about what he was intended to do next. Cory disclosed that he had been advised by his school and his family to apply for a Level One Mechanics course. Mark was shocked. In his view, Cory was a young person with massive potential - six GCSEs at Grade C and above - and he was being encouraged to leave school and start a course that was a level much lower than he was capable of.  

It was at this point that Mark felt that he had to intervene.  Researching the national apprenticeship scheme, he found out that Mojo Active could take him on, provide quality training for him and pay him subsidised by the government. Mark offered Cory the opportunity and he accepted; both Mojo Active and Cory have never looked back. The feeling at Mojo Active is that Cory has proven himself to be an outstanding member of the team. He has achieved and grown so quickly over the past three years that Mark, and the other members of the team, say that he has been an absolute pleasure to work alongside.

Without this guidance, support and advice, Cory may not have been exposed to alternative progression routes and an apprenticeship that has led to a job he loves. For more information about apprenticeships, you can check out the gov.uk page or you can find out more at 'Get in Go Far'. 

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