A mentoring programme supported by Crawley Borough Council has helped students in Crawley boost their confidence and raise their ambitions for the future.
Be the Change is an inspirational programme organised by The LoveLocalJobs Foundation CIC that engages with disengaged Year nine students who face challenges in school or in their personal lives.
Across three separate conference events, the programme aims to:
Launching the programme with a bang, the first conference focuses on engaging students with the programme, looking at where they are now and how they can move forward, and building their confidence through sessions from an inspirational speaker, combined with interactive group exercises.
To help students change their behaviour and become more responsible, they take part in a 'Stepping Up' event where they learn to take responsibility for their actions by mentoring and supporting primary school students who attend the event.
To celebrate the success of the students, the programme finishes with an awards ceremony that reflects on the progress students have made, gives them the opportunity to talk through changes they have made to their lives in both large and small group settings.
The 2018/19 programme saw 98 students from Thomas Bennett, Holy Trinity, St Wilfrids, Ifield Community College, Oriel High School and Hazelwick schools take part with the help of 43 Business Guides and eight sponsoring organisations.
The programme was a great success and by the end, 95 per cent of students said they felt more confident and positive about their future and 96 per cent of students felt positive about their future careers. 93 per cent of students identified what they needed to do to remove any barriers to their own success.
While the programme primarily focuses on the students, it also helps build links between schools and businesses, with representatives from local businesses volunteering as Business Guides who then mentor the students, providing an opportunity for them to discover career opportunities in a safe and supportive environment, while enabling the businesses to connect with their future workforce and discover ways to improve their training and coaching skills.
Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, Councillor Peter Smith, said: “Be the Change is a fantastic programme that makes a huge difference to the students that take part. It’s important for our young residents to be equipped with the tools and confidence to work hard and achieve a happy, successful career. I am delighted we have been able to support this programme once again.
Commercial Director for LoveLocalJobs.com and The LoveLocalJobs Foundation CIC, Paul Scrivens, said “We’re extremely proud to be into our 6th year of delivering Be the Change. Since the launch of our first Jobs Board in 2010 helping to raise the aspirations of our local young people has been a priority.
"Connecting the disparate worlds of education and employment via inspirational conferences, mentoring and workplace insights has a positive and measurable impact on all involved. We remain committed to further developing our essential network of collaborating organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors so we can help to create positive futures for even more of our local next generation.”