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Rolls-Royce mentors share their experience with local young people

We’re delighted to announce Rolls-Royce Motor Cars participation in Dare to Dream, a mentoring scheme designed to help pupils realise their potential and overcome their personal barriers to success.

Between now and the end of the current school year, 15 volunteers from Rolls-Royce will act as mentors to Year 9 pupils from Chichester Free School, Bourne Community College and Ormiston Six Villages Academy, all close to the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood. The team, which has grown from 10 last year, includes some who took part in 2021 and asked to remain involved.

Each mentor will work with three pupils, all of whom are facing challenges affecting their personal lives, academic progress and future career choices. Over the course of three sessions, the mentors will share their experiences and thoughts, understand the pupil’s outlook on life, and explore and challenge what they may believe (or have been told) about themselves and the world.

Helping the pupils to think beyond the bounds of school and home can spark aspirational ideas and the motivation to accept the challenges that lie ahead. By sharing their own journeys, which have not always followed conventional educational and employment paths, the mentors demonstrate that no doors are closed, and opportunities come with the desire to pursue things they enjoy and are interested in, however bold.

Dare to Dream supports pupils at what can be a daunting time, when they are working towards their GCSEs and feel under pressure to start formulating education and career plans. Mentors provide much-needed support at this crucial stage: it can be especially helpful for pupils to realise that adults already in the working world also face challenges and sometimes have their own doubts and uncertainties to deal with.

Previous mentors report seeing noticeable growth in pupils’ confidence from one session to the next. As well as encouraging pupils to take ownership of pursuing their dreams, the mentors offer practical coaching, helping them consider what skills they might need and ways they could go about gaining them.

“We’ve been working with Dare to Dream since its inception and are delighted to support the project again in 2022. We have more mentors than ever before, including some who took part last year and specifically asked to remain involved. It’s a real privilege to be able to support promising pupils whose personal circumstances have placed obstacles in their path. To have someone a little further along the journey who understands and engages with them can be transformational for these pupils. And for our mentors, it’s a wonderful opportunity to share their experience and thoughts, reflect on their own progress and achievements, and feel they’re genuinely making a difference.”

Mark Adams, Director of Human Resources, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Ben Carter, Head of Year 9 at Chichester Free School, works closely with students involved in the programme. He says, “The core aim is to enhance both the mental health and life opportunities of children and young people through self-belief, self-awareness and confidence.

“As part of the Dare to Dream programme we are working alongside Rolls-Royce, offering 15 of our Year 9 pupils a wonderful opportunity to meet with employees of Rolls-Royce as part of a mentoring programme. Our pupils loved this opportunity and look forward to continuing this later in the year.”

Lydia Woodroff, HR Specialist, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, is coordinating the project at Rolls-Royce. She says, “The pupils taking part in Dare to Dream respond really positively to the support and guidance they receive from their mentors. It’s also inspiring for them to hear from someone in the world of work, who’s ahead of them on the journey but remembers what it was like to be where they are now.

“At the end of the project, the mentors each invite a colleague from their team to take over from them the following year. Passing the torch in this way fosters continuity and wider engagement within our business; this year, we’ve also had people wanting to continue for another year, and we’ve obviously been delighted to make that happen.”

Jack Hayes, programme lead from the Love Local Jobs Foundation adds, The Love Local Jobs Foundation is proud to support the next generation of students across Sussex as we look to build their confidence, raise their aspirations and encourage them to be the very best versions of themselves they can. This work, especially in the world we are currently living in, is more important now than ever and we simply can’t reach as many students as we do without the support of local employers. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars have supported the Foundation and our programmes since 2019, continually demonstrating their commitment to supporting young people from the Chichester area. The students get particularly excited when they find out that volunteers from Rolls-Royce Motor Cars want to support and help them. Thank you to all at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars for your unwavering support. We couldn’t do it without you.”


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