Students Use Design Skills To Connect Generations


Enabling someone to do something they thought was out of reach is a feeling like no other.

And this is exactly the feeling students from Pimpama State Secondary College got when they delivered a fully repaired mobility scooter to residents at Bolton Clarke’s Talbarra Retirement community.

The students have been participating in the ‘Fix-ed’ social enterprise program which has encouraged them to engage with their community to learn and practice valuable human-centred design and repair skills.


Fix-ed was designed at the school with teachers Stephen Robinson and Dwayne Scicluna in collaboration with Entrepreneur in Residence, Tom Allen of strategic design consultancy Seven Positive & global changemaking community Impact Boom. Students have received valuable insights from Bolton Clarke’s Design Integration team throughout the program.

Pimpama State Secondary College principal John Thornberry said Fix-ed was born out of a passion amongst College staff and students to tackle the issues impacting their community.

“There’s a strong desire to prepare students for the challenges that lie ahead,” he said.

“Future leaders with the skills to tackle problems head on, adapt quickly and create innovative, viable opportunities for the greater community.”

Prior to commencing the project the students undertook research and realised for some residents, limited mobility was a barrier to maintaining community connections.


This is where their project began.

Students received a visit from Bolton Clarke’s leaders in innovation to help students gather research and understand the challenges faced by the ageing community.

Bolton Clarke’s Design Integration lead Lauren Ffrost provided students with an insight into how Bolton Clarke utilises innovation.

“Bolton Clarke are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to enhance the lives of their customers across the care continuum,” she said.

“Our Design and Innovation team enjoyed connecting and supporting the students as they gained valuable insights into the challenges facing older people.”


Fix-ed collaborator Active Scooters donates the broken mobility scooters to the school to ensure they remain out of landfill and can be donated to those most in need.

Director of Active Scooters John Messenger provided tips and strong support to the students and teaching team on how to best repair mobility scooters and further insights into our ageing community.

“By collaborating with Fix-ed, we believe there is strong potential to provide help to community members who are experiencing hardship, whilst supporting an innovative school program,” he said.


This article was originally published on Bolton Clarke's blog.

Tom Allen