Be the Change: Catch-up and Inspire Event

28 April 2017

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Year Ten students from six secondary schools in West Sussex1 took part in an inspirational Catch Up and Inspire one day conference at Fontwell Park Racecourse Arundel, last week (Wednesday 5 April) as part of the Be the Change programme.

Launched last year, Be the Change is a collaboration between and Graham Moore of social business humanutopia. The programme focuses on raising confidence, aspirations and job prospects of 13 and 14 year olds.  Throughout the 2016 school year, students participated in five days of activities and a workplace visit, designed to change negative behaviour, improve happiness, confidence, hope, relationships and employability.

Last week’s Catch Up and Inspire conference, facilitated by former teacher Graham Moore, and delivered by the Be the Change Team, gave students and local business mentors who took part in the initiative last year, the chance to reconnect and discuss progress made. Mentors participated from The Body Shop, Vitacress, North brook College, West Sussex County Council and

Sarah Williams, Director of Sussex Learning Network, which is sponsoring the Be the Change programme across the region said: “Be the Change’ is a really innovative way to inspire and support disengaged or disadvantaged young people. Feedback received from students and teachers has told us that for many students the experience has been life changing. We are proud to be supporting an initiative that encourages young people from across Sussex to be the best they can be and to make the most of future opportunities.” 

Over the course of the day, areas covered included:

  • ‘What is it like to be a teenager in 2017?’ a conversation about what might be holding them back and how it affects them
  • Interactive team challenges using workplace and life skills such as prioritisation, working to deadlines and honing creativity and spontaneity
  • Creating a ‘roadmap’ to success – an exploration of four key areas in their life: Personal, Social, Family and School, helping students draw up a tangible set of goals and targets for their short and mid-term future.

It’s been such a joy to bring the students back to Be the Change a year on. They were over the moon when we told them they would get a chance to catch up with their mentors and the Be the Change team. They have all grown as individuals in the last year and I think it is hugely worthwhile for them to reflect on how they have changed in the course of a year, as well as hearing all the positive messages from the programme reiterated at such an important time in their lives. Thank you for giving them this opportunity to look back at their past and forwards to their future!

Sally Turner, Yr 10 Manager, Felpham Community College