Staff from Crawley Company People's Partnership, provider of The People’s Pension, are inspiring students from The Gatwick School to realise their future potential and ‘dare to dream’.
Throughout the 2021/22 academic year, year 9 students from the school are participating in the Love Local Jobs Foundation's "Dare to Dream" programme for Crawley, which has been made possible by the careers and senior leadership teams, who recognised the need to provide a boost in self-belief and aspirations for their students amidst the pandemic.
The partnership with leading local employer People's Partnership, alongside the regional support from Crawley Borough Council for local schools, has enabled an additional 117 local young people in Crawley to benefit from participation in the programme.
The Dare to Dream programme, delivered by the inspirational More Sussex radio presenter, Jack ‘The Lad’ Hayes, is designed around developing vital life skills for the next generation locally.
Throughout each of the programme sessions, Jack is able to draw on his own experiences, his personal journey and his unique storytelling ability to engage and encourage the students to think bigger and raise their aspirations.
In addition to this, 15 Year 9 students are supported by five of People's Partnership’s team, who give them one-to-one mentoring to build their confidence for the future and to create a better pathway into the workplace.
Commenting on why People's Partnership are supporting this year’s Dare to Dream programme, Ian Tyers, People's Partnership’s Organisation Capability Specialist, said,
“People's Partnership has always had a commitment to play an active part in the local community. Our staff were immediately drawn to mentor on the Dare to Dream’s programme. By offering to share their advice and experience they can make a real difference to local students, helping to inspire them to think about what they want from their futures, while also helping to build their own experience and skill set.”
With self-awareness, resilience, mindset, gratitude, teamwork and employability, the central themes of the programme, People's Partnership’s mentors are playing a vital role in continuing Jack’s message and preparing the students at The Gatwick School for their future careers.
Through sharing their own experiences and the skills they’ve picked up along the way, they are able to instil confidence and work with the students to realise their full potential.
Katie Porter, Senior Social Media Officer at People's Partnership and one of the programme mentors said,
“As an employee at People's Partnership, I think it’s fantastic that we’re given volunteering days to take, to enable us to be part of a programme like Dare to Dream. The Dare to Dream programme is wonderful, and as a mentor, it is a privilege to feel as though I have helped provide support and guidance to students who need it.
“The programme is so fulfilling, and to see a positive change in the students participating from one session to the next, really shows that Dare to Dream works and has an impact on young people in the local area.
“Having never mentored before, I’m really grateful to People's Partnership and Dare to Dream for the opportunity as it’s been a great experience. I would encourage others to take part and would certainly love to be a part of the programme again in the future.”
Olivia Newman KS4 Progress Lead at The Gatwick School commented,
“Dare to dream is a great project which inspires pupils and gives them chances to explore themselves and their own skills. These skills are what Jack builds upon in his three separate talks, which all have their own messages which the mentors solidify with the pupils after.
“I've been lucky to be part of this project a number of times and it never fails to inspire me and all the staff and pupils involved. The mentoring side is fantastic as it allows pupils to build relationships and have honest conversations with people that aren't their teachers or peers. This allows pupils to be more open and really be honest with themselves. This project really makes a difference to not just the pupils but also the teachers involved too!”