Anderson Rowntree was delighted to be Business Partners of the 2019 Be the Change Programme to help boost young people’s confidence and career prospects in the local area.
Be the Change is an inspirational programme, aimed at young people from Year 9 (13/14 years old). It is designed to help support them on their journey, opening their eyes to the world of work, to the wealth of the possibilities and career opportunities in their hometown and beyond.
For a variety of reasons, they may be disengaged at school or lack confidence in their own abilities, yet they have real potential once they are engaged in activities and given positive role models.
The schools that were involved in the programme are: Bourne Community College, Midhurst Rother College, The Academy Selsey, Chichester High School, Bishop Luffa and Chichester Free School.
Charlotte Woods, Senior Associate Solicitor, based at the Petworth Office stepped into the role of Business Guide, who were central to the success of the programme. In addition to her day job, as a guide her role was to:
- To listen – hearing about the barriers young people face
- To discuss the Guide’s job role and how they got to where they are today
- To be honest and open about the world of work and expectations of business
- To talk about the importance of personal qualities as well as qualifications in the work place
- To engage inspire and motivate, helping the students feel at ease and give positive feedback
The 2019 programme was launched following aspirations of Chichester District Council to develop a programme to support disengaged young people. The programme was also made possible following the support and business volunteers from leading local employers, including ourselves, together with The Body Shop, and supporting partners Chichester College, Petworth Vision and Vitacress.
“I was really touched by the honest and emotional stories of the local students who shared their experiences and day-to-day challenges” said Charlotte, “At the launch, the students and business volunteers took part in activities that focus on happiness, confidence, hope, relationships and employability.”
“The programme comprised 1 to 1 sessions across the schools, welcoming students to our offices to see our careers in action, with the aim of inspiring them to think about the world of work and the career choices available to them in the years ahead.”
During the first six months of the year, the students took part in a series of activities designed to improve hope, happiness, confidence, relationships, to change negative behaviour and to introduce them to career opportunities.
At the end of the programme, the students were congratulated and awarded certificates and ribbons by the volunteer business guides alongside the Be the Change team.
Many students stood in front of the gathered audience at the Weald and Downland Museum in Singleton, revealing their feelings about moving forward with the skills they have learnt.
Charlotte said: "It has been inspiring to see how the students engaged with us and their peers and as a result have become happier, more confident in their abilities and more excited about their futures."