Students from secondary schools in Brighton and Hove learnt how to be role models for younger students at an event on Wednesday, April 13 at the American Express Community Stadium.
Almost 90 students aged 13-14 from 10 local secondary schools were joined by a similar number of 10 and 11 year olds from Balfour, Patcham Junior and West Hove primary schools as part of the inspirational Be the Change programme.
Facilitated by LoveLocalJobs.com and social enterprise humanutopia, along with mentors from local businesses, education and the public sector, Be the Change helps young people to fulfill their potential and improve their life chances. It focuses on happiness, confidence, hope, relationships and employability by identifying and removing barriers to success and raising aspirations. Over the course of the school year the students have six opportunities to work with business volunteers at day long events, one-to-one mentoring sessions and workplace visits.
Humanutopia’s founders, Carlo Missirian and Graham Moore, both former teachers who understand the challenges facing young people today, led the hero training event. They said: “Our vision is for every young person to have raised hope and confidence, to have the chance to develop life skills and create positive cycles that will prepare them for life.
“Working with the younger children brings out the “hero” or role model in our students. It promotes qualities such as leadership, team working and a sense of responsibility to those around them, especially younger and more vulnerable people. This activity also offers a great chance for the 10 and 11 year olds to develop their confidence and experience of being around secondary school students in preparation for moving into higher education.”
The secondary schools involved in the programme are Cardinal Newman, Dorothy Stringer, Hove Park, Longhill, PACA, BACA, Varndean, Patcham High, Blatchington Mill School and Sir Robert Woodard Academy.
Gary Shilladay, Head of Year 9 at Dorothy Stringer said, " If only every child in my school could be involved and be a part of this! A community-changing and inspirational message that will change lives. Be the Change gives the students motivation, direction and provokes positive thought. I look forward to seeing the long term benefits for the students involved and just wish I could be more involved."
The idea for Be the Change came from Gary Peters, Founder of LoveLocalJobs.com. He said: “We believe that ‘Be the Change’ has the power to dramatically improve lives. David Cameron said earlier this year that there are around 25,000 pupils about to start their GCSEs who are at-risk of under-achieving or dropping out and that he wants businesses to mentor at-risk teenagers. Well, this is exactly what we are doing right here in Sussex in collaboration with local employers, universities and local authorities.”
There are three separate programmes taking place across East and West Sussex. ‘Be the Change’ Brighton is a collaboration between LoveLocalJobs.com and humanutopia, supported by Sussex Learning Network, University of Sussex, Brighton and Hove City Council, Heart FM, Coast to Capital LEP and The Careers & Enterprise Company.
Sarah Williams, Director of Sussex Learning Network, said: “The Sussex Learning Network is delighted to be sponsoring the Be the Change programme right across Sussex this year – it’s providing a fantastic opportunity for our educational partners to engage with young people in a really innovative and inspiring way, and we hope to be able to continue to support the programme for years to come.”
Georgina Angele, Enterprise Co-ordinator at Coast to Capital, added: “Business demand for specific skills and qualifications changes fast, so having local employers helping to inform and shape the careers and enterprise strategies, the curriculum and to bring their businesses into classrooms is the key to success; both for young people and the region’s businesses.”
1. Students from Patcham High and Dorothy Stringer with business mentor, Janice Standing from Porsche Mid-Sussex, at ‘Be the Change’ Hero Training
2. Be the change Kimberley Chandler a student at Blatchington Mill School at ‘Be the Change’ Hero Training
3. Children from West Hove Junior School enjoy working with older students at ‘Be the Change’ Hero Training
LovelocalJobs.com is a family of jobs boards that works in partnership with businesses, local authorities, universities, colleges, schools, charities and community groups in cities, towns and districts across Sussex and the south east. It comprises six regional jobs boards: BrightonandHoveJobs.com, 1066Jobs.com, GatwickDiamondJobs.com, CoastalWestSussexJobs.com, LoveEastbourneJobs.com and LoveCroydonJobs.com. As well as these jobs boards we have a further four careers advice and guidance sites, which have been designed by young people for young people with the help and support of local business mentors.
humanutopia is a social business that creates and runs inspirational courses in schools for students and staff. Their courses are based on personal, social and workplace skills development, and improve the hope, confidence, happiness, relationships, and employability of participating students. Over the last 11 years humanutopia have worked with over 200,000 young people, 200 schools, 25,000 adults and 20,000 heroes.