While it’s back to business for our College campuses this month, our student Will Campbell, 20 from Giffnock has started a business of his own. Now best friend and fellow student Alex O’Donnell, 22 also from Giffnock will be working alongside him! Despite studying different courses at our Paisley Campus in 2019/20, Will on our Development course and Alex studying Work Preparation, the pair quickly recognised a friendly face outside of the classroom. After previously becoming friends at Isobel Mair School in 2007 they were delighted to be crossing paths again at College. Their friendship has now seen them move into the world of work!
Both of their studies allowed them to develop work related skills such as communication skills, team building, IT and career management. They loved learning about the work environment and couldn’t wait to put these skills to good use.
With the help of his family, Will set up a company offering to deliver dog food straight to your door. The business started during the recent lockdown so due to social distancing restrictions it was difficult to get others involved, but Will managed to kick things off with the help of his siblings, Ed and Bethan offering deliveries across Glasgow, Bearsden & Milngavie.
However the hope for Will was always to get his friends as part of the team, which is clear from the company name Will and Friends! So when the opportunity final came, his best friend, Alex was more than happy to come on board. Will and Alex, both have Downs Syndrome and the company was set up with the aim of offering individuals with additional support needs the opportunity of meaningful employment while building links in the local community.
And they have done just that, with customer interest rising, orders on the books and a growing following on Facebook & Instagram, the business is off to a flying start. We are delighted that both of the boys will be back to our Paisley Campus this year to continue their studies and we can’t wait to see where this unstoppable friendship goes!
We caught up with Will and Alex so they could share some of their business savvy and College experience with us.
Will shared what he loved most about College saying,
“I like being with my friends and getting the chance to learn new things on my course.” When speaking about the challenge of managing the business alongside his coursework Will said, “I think it’ll be fun. I’m really excited to be coming back to College.”
Alex said of his course,
“I like studying all the different subjects and seeing my friends every day. I really like my teachers too. The course is great, I enjoy learning lots of different things like working on the computer, painting and going out for independent travel."
Although Alex is really excited about getting involved in the business he said that he can’t wait to get back to college and see everyone again!
The students are a fantastic example to everyone at the College, Maura Hamilton, Learning Development Lecturer said of the boys, “It is truly inspiring for both students and staff to witness Will, set up his own company during Lockdown, and even better now to see Alex getting involved too. Will and Alex are perfect examples to young entrepreneurs using their talents, taking the skills they have learned at college and putting them both in to practice.” She continued,
“These young men have truly taken their futures into their own hands. This is the best outcome that we, in the College, could ever ask for. All the students and staff wish both of them every success with this venture and just want them to remember us all when they make their first million! Well done Will and Alex.”
Follow them on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/willandfriends1/
Follow them on Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/willandfriends.co/
Visit their website - https://willandfriends.co.uk/
Photography Credit - Gerri Campbell Photography