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Rolls-Royce mentors share their experience with local young people

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is delighted to confirm its continued participation in Dare to Dream, a mentoring scheme designed to help pupils realise their potential and overcome their personal barriers to success.

During the 2022-23 school year, 15 volunteers from across the company have acted as mentors to Year 9 students from Chichester Free School, Bourne Community College and Ormiston Six Villages Academy, all close to the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood. The team includes some who took part in 2022 and have remained involved as ‘super mentors’.

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

Helping the students to think beyond the bounds of school and home can spark aspirational ideas and the motivation to grapple with what lies ahead. By sharing their own journeys, which have not always followed conventional educational and employment paths, the mentors demonstrate that doors aren’t always closed; opportunities come with the desire to pursue things they enjoy and are interested in, however bold.

Alison Turnbull, Head of Year 9 at Chichester Free School, says: “This inspirational, impactful programme makes students aware of a variety of pathways and opportunities, while giving them the confidence to believe in themselves and make better-informed decisions about their future. The visit to Rolls-Royce was an amazing experience and sparked conversations about alternative post-16 options. Please don’t stop doing what you’re doing; you really don't know how many lives you’re changing!”

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

One participant, who’s in Year 9 at Bourne Community College, explains: “This was one of the best things I've been able to do yet! The Rolls-Royce employees were super-friendly and offered a wide variety of jobs and applications available for passionate and talented students. The Dare to Dream programme has been amazing and has improved my confidence and my abilities to overcome challenges in life.”

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

Lydia Woodroff, HR Sustainability Business Partner, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, is coordinating the project at Rolls-Royce. She says, “We were delighted to continue our support of Dare to Dream this year, and see the programme’s continued impact on the selected participants over the year. They met some of our Apprentices and saw how we support people’s early careers; they also watched vehicles being built and experienced a ‘customer reveal’, culminating in sitting in a Rolls-Royce Phantom and having their photographs taken as a souvenir. We’re pleased to have this opportunity to show young people the range of skills we use here, and the varied roles we make available to home so close to home.”

Jack ‘The Lad’ Hayes, programme lead from the Love Local Jobs Foundation adds: “Our work in and around Chichester simply wouldn’t be possible without the unwavering support of our friends at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. For students, knowing that one of the world’s most prestigious brands wants to support and encourage them makes it a truly unique experience. As ever, the mentor team at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars really embraced their role: their work will have a hugely positive impact on the students they worked with.”


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