Are you an Old Blue currently at University?

We need you!

The BSB Buddy Scheme

While attending CH, pupils receive excellent pastoral care, but the moment that they leave that ceases. While Universities may provide a degree of pastoral care, many young Old Blues start University without someone who they can turn to, and possibly without being aware of the existence of the BSB.

The BSB Buddies scheme, seeks to address this problem giving young Old Blues an Old Blue mentor perhaps of similar age, attending the same University or living in their locality. The mentor will touch base each term checking that they are OK and if there is need for financial assistance or other support, pointing them in the direction of the BSB.

We would like to hear from young Old Blues, who would be prepared to mentor, or be a listening ear for potentially vulnerable Blues leaving CH.

If you are interested in learning more about the Scheme, Please get in contact with

Julie Wilson


The BSB are looking to grow the team and we are looking for volunteer Old Blues.

Grants & Loans Committee: Are you a social worker, doctor, careers advisor or charity worker or perhaps have experience working with vulnerable children or adults? Are you a younger old blue that can help with the experience of leaving CH and going off to university?

Finance Committee: We are looking an accountant or someone with a background in finance with experience in helping people manage debt to support our finance committee.

This is the perfect way to answer the charge and give back to the Old Blue Community!

If you are interested in learning more about the ways you can help

Please get in touch with

Julie Wilson

If you’re thinking of taking a gap year after finishing school, you’re in good company. Many young people decide to take a year out after school to enjoy different experiences, something which can prove very valuable for your future career.

Taking a gap year can be a fun, exciting and rewarding experience. But it’s important to make it worthwhile and not treat it as simply ‘time off’.” A future employer will want to see you did something worthwhile and didn’t simply waste a year.

If you want to make the most of your gap year, take a look at some of the following tips and ideas.

Start thinking about it today (don’t wait until Christmas!)

Planning a gap year isn’t something to be taken lightly. While you’ll want to enjoy the summer post-exams with your friends, it’s good to start putting a plan in place ready for the autumn when your friends start going to university.

Start thinking about you want to do and what you want to get out of your gap year. The longer you leave it, the less time you’ll have to make it happen.

Do your research

Most gap year plans need a lot of research, so start looking into what you want to do and how you’re going to do it.

There are a lot of fantastic gap year resources from UCAS to help you find the information you need to plan your gap year.

Speak to others who have done it

A good way to learn more about a gap year (and maybe to manage your expectations!), is to speak to others who have done it. Gap year forums are a great place to start, helping you learn more about other people’s experiences.

Talk to friends and family who may have done a gap year. They’ll be able to share their top tips as well as lessons learnt to help you make the most of your own gap year.

Take a look at gap year companies

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by gap year options, or need some help getting organised, take a look at gap year companies. Gap year companies can organise experiences on your behalf, taking care of placements, volunteer opportunities and travel – making them ideal if you’re not very organised, or you’d prefer to be in a group setting.

Make sure any gap year company you engage with is genuine. Do your research carefully and don’t hand over any money or personal information until you’re sure that you’re dealing with a legitimate company.

Make a plan

With a clear idea of what you’re going to do on your gap year, it’s time to make a plan. Your plan should include where you’re going to be and when, what you’re going to need to get there and details of any money or travel you’re going to need.

It might help to talk through your gap year plan with someone else to make sure you’ve included everything and haven’t left out any important details.

Plan your gap year budget

Preparing a budget is going to be vital during your gap year. Will you need to work first to fund your travels? What will you do with any money earned during your gap year?

Use a budget planner to help you work out how much money you’re going to need and how you’re going to juggle your outgoings with your living and travel costs.

Get organised with travel

If you’re going to travel during your gap year, then you’ll need to make sure you get organised. You’ll want to research the entry requirements for any country you intend to visit and make sure you work out how you’re going to get to each destination. Some things to think about include:

Keep all of your important documents in the cloud so that you can access them anywhere. It’s also a good idea to share your details and your itinerary with family and friends so they can help you out in an emergency.

Some top ideas for how to spend your gap year

Looking for some ideas on how to spend your gap year? Why not consider some of the following?


Volunteering during your gap year can be a very rewarding experience. You’ll not only get to help people in need, but you’ll also get some great experience for your CV and can meet a lot of new people too.

Experience new cultures

Gap year travels shouldn’t just be about jetting from beach to beach. Take time to experience new cultures and broaden your horizons. You can learn a lot of valuable life skills by experiencing other cultures, while getting to explore everything the world has to offer.

Learn a new skill

Want to use your gap year to learn a new skill? Whether you want to learn an instrument, a language or take a short course in something, there are a lot of skills that could benefit your university course, and your future career.

Work experience

Your gap year is also a great time to get some work experience. Interning in the industry you want to work after university could help give your CV a big boost, and help you make some important contacts.

Getting work experience during your gap year is also a good way to test the water and see if your chosen career path is right for you before your begin your studies.

Useful links

And finally, don’t forget to contact us contact us for gap year help and advice. We’re here to help.

Heading off to university marks an exciting chapter in your life. It’s an exciting time as you experience your first true taste of independence, but it can also be nerve-wracking as you move away from home for the first time.

University is all about learning new things, while getting to know yourself a little better too. With that being said, it doesn’t hurt to be a little prepared before you set off.

Take a look at our handy checklist to help you prepare for university life.

Student living essentials

What to take

The shopping list for university can feel endless. But there are some essentials you’ll need to help you settle in and adjust to life in your new place. Some of the main things to take with you include:

There will no doubt be other essentials on your list. Don’t panic if you forget something, you can always go shopping or order online.

A little cooking practice goes a long way

If you haven’t done much cooking for yourself before, now is a good time to start! Learning how to prepare some basic meals can help you stay fed and healthy while at university. Some simple university meal ideas include:

Fast food, ready meals, fancy coffees etc. will rapidly eat up your whole budget. Learning how to cook and how to shop for ingredients will help you save money and impress your new friends.

Don’t forget the practical things

Your first few weeks at university will be a bit of a learning curve, but there are a few practical things you’ll need to remember:

Finance basics

Get your finance in place

Whether you’ve got a student loan, bursaries, grants, or savings to finance your living costs, make sure you’ve got everything in place.

If you’re going to get a job while studying, start looking in advance – part-time jobs will be in high demand once fresher’s week starts.

Get a bank account in order

Get yourself a student bank account. Most high street banks offer special student accounts with great rates and incentives, so shop around to find a deal that’s right for you.

Learn how to budget and juggle your bills

Managing your own finances can be very stressful. It’s a good idea to set yourself up with a budget to help you manage all of your outgoings so you know exactly how much money you have leftover to save and to have fun with.

Make sure bills are split evenly with your housemates. A tool like Glide is perfect for bill splitting so that you only need to pay your share and not worry about everyone else.

Settling in during those first weeks

Find your bearings

Spend time getting to know your new home. From the area where your accommodation is to your University campus, it’s good to do some exploring, so you can find out where you need to be and avoid last-minute stresses during registration and your first lectures.

Get to know your housemates

You’ll meet all kinds of new people at university, starting with your housemates. Some top tips for getting to know your new housemates include:

While it can be daunting to introduce yourself to new people, you’ll find it gets easier. You never know, the people you meet during those first few weeks could end up being friends for life!

Learn to find a balance

University is a place where you’ll enjoy all kinds of experiences. But it’s important to remember that you’re there to study as well as have fun. Finding a balance is important and will mean you get to juggle your studying and your social life to help you have the best uni experience.

Some tips to help you find the right balance include:

Being prepared for university will help you ease stresses or concerns you might have about leaving home and beginning your new chapter. Remember that the Benevolent Society of Blues is here to help you if you need it. Get in touch and see how we can help.


Free Debt Advice – StepChange Debt Charity – Free Expert Debt Advice.

Mental Health Advice – Mental health charities and organisations – NHS (

Student finance Advice – Student finance: What you need to know – Money Advice Service

Housing Advice – Shelter – the housing and homelessness charity

Disability Advice – Advice and support | Disability charity Scope UK

Advice for the Elderly – Care and support for the elderly | Age UK

Advice for carers – Help and advice on caring – Carers UK

Employment Advice – Acas | Making working life better for everyone in Britain

Benefits Advice – Fighting UK Poverty – Turn2us

Advice for young people – YoungMinds – children and young people’s mental health charity

Addiction advice – Honest information about drugs | FRANK (

General Advice – Citizens Advice

Samaritans – Samaritans | Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy | Here to listen

Young Adult Advice – The Mix – Essential support for under 25s

Careers Advice – Careers advice – job profiles, information and resources | National Careers Service

How to write a CV in 2020 [Get noticed by employers]

How to write a CV with no experience [kick start your career]

8 CV mistakes that will kill your job applications | Fix them now

How to prepare for an interview

Top Interview Tips: Common Questions, Body Language & More

What’s the worst thing you can do at an interview?

The Best Ways To Answer Behavioural Interview Questions / Competency Job Interview Questions

How to prepare for an interview

What is an interview?

When applying for jobs through job sites or recruitment agencies you will have to complete an interview stage before being offered any type of work. This is standard practise and can vary depending on the field of work you are looking for. When you submit applications or send your CV to an organisation/agency that is looking to recruit, you may be invited to interview along with other applicants.

You should take registration interviews with recruitment agencies just as serious as you would a regular interview, this is pre-screening and where first impressions begin. Remember, you can sign up and become a candidate with as many agencies as you like, just ensure you keep note of these, stay in contact and outline if you are looking for temporary/permanent employment.  (More on this below)

Recruitment Agency Interviews

Recruitment agencies may book appointments with job seekers to ‘interview’ you for registration.

A good recruiter will coach you through an interview registration explaining all the details of what a recruitment agency can provide, they will stay in touch with you over the phone and via email and update you on any organisation they would like to send your CV too (with your permission). They will arrange interviews for you with clients.  Do not be alarmed if the registration doesn’t take too long it’s the impression you make that’s important.

Registration interview preparations:

Bring with you:

Some recruitment agencies specialise in different sectors of job vacancies so ensure that you are prepared, and the visit is relevant for you. If anything, else is needed that is not mentioned above, the recruiter will have this on your appointment email.

Agency Interview preparations:

Make a note of the agency you have visited, if you see a role they have advertised in the future and you are interested you can contact them, and you will already registered.

Further detail in links below.

Direct Interviews

Either directly applied by you or sourced by your recruiter.

There are many types of interview process’s out there but for a standard interview Its important to know how to prepare.

An interview can be a formal or informal conversation, one to one or virtual. Consider it an invitation into the organisation to discuss the potential job opportunity you applied for.

Interviews can also be done over the phone, or in small groups. In a face-to-face meeting environment, the interviewer will ask you questions, and explore your attributes in line with the role they are recruiting for.

Useful job sites to search for vacancies:

If you have specific skills, a simple google search will assist with relevant job sites.

Interview Preparations

Prepare answers to these Top 10 Interview Questions 

  1. Tell Me About Yourself.
  2. Why Do You Want This Job? …
  3. Why Should We Hire You?
  4. What is Your Greatest Strength?
  5. What is Your Greatest Weakness?
  6. Why Do You Want to Leave (or Have Left) Your Job?
  7. What Are Your Salary Expectations?
  8. How Do You Handle Stress and Pressure?

During the interview:

The 5 Best Questions to Ask an Interviewer

  1. What do you expect from team members in this position?
  2. Will those expectations change over time?
  3. What is a typical day like at [company name]?
  4. Where do you see the company in five years?
  5. What are the next steps in the interview process?

Remember an interview is an opportunity for both you and the interviewer to get to know eachother, with the right amount of research, the right questions and being yourself, you will both have a better understanding on whether the role is a correct fit.

Useful links:

A formal document containing a brief personal profile followed by skills, education, and work-related experience closed off with details of hobbies and interests.
Aiming for 2 pages depending on experience, some candidates create several CV’s and use the relevant type to apply for different roles of interest. You might consider creating a cover letter to express further detail.

Must haves: (preferably in this order)

If you are a school/collage leaver, treat your CV as your personal profile, sell yourself and have confidence in your goals, skills, and attributes.

Key features of a cv:

Keep it up to date.



Useful links:

Total Jobs Successful CV
Guardian CV Tips
Reed: How to write a CV