The programme that’s helping Chichester students transform their futures for the better

Be the Change launch event, Chichester February 2019. Southern News & Pictures.
Be the Change launch event, Chichester February 2019. Southern News & Pictures.

An inspirational programme to help young people fulfil their potential and improve their employment opportunities was launched with

An inspirational programme to help young people fulfil their potential and improve their employment opportunities was launched with more than 80 school students from six Chichester district schools on February 12 at the Weald and Downland Living Museum.

Be the Change launch event, Chichester February 2019. Southern News & Pictures.

Be the Change launch event, Chichester February 2019. Southern News & Pictures.

The Be the Change programme aims to help 13 and 14 year olds negotiate the gap between education and employment.

Volunteer business guides from local employers, including Chichester District Council, Chichester College, Petworth Vision and Vitacress, were touched by the honest and emotional stories of the students who shared their experiences and day-to-day challenges at the event.

Activities on the day focused on happiness, confidence, hope, relationships and employability, created by former teacher Graham Moore, from Metamoorephosis.

Graham said: “Our vision is for every young person to have raised hope and confidence, to have the chance to develop life skills and create positive cycles that will prepare them for life.

Be the Change launch event, Chichester February 2019. Southern News & Pictures.

Be the Change launch event, Chichester February 2019. Southern News & Pictures.

“Be the Change is a perfect vehicle to help young people develop the qualities and qualifications they need for a better future. The volunteers and the invaluable support and belief of local businesses adds a further dimension.”

Be the Change was developed by Mr Moore and LoveLocalJobs.com. Its Chichester scheme involves Bourne Community College, Midhurst Rother College, The Academy Selsey, Chichester High School, Bishop Luffa and Chichester Free School.

Gary Peters, founder of LoveLocalJobs.com, said: “Year 9 is when young people make decisions that will affect the rest of their lives – from where they fit within their peer groups, to what subjects they will study for their GCSEs.

“Our job is to help them recognise and build on their strengths and to give them the tools, knowledge and confidence to make the right decisions.”

The launch day was praised by head of pastoral support at The Academy Selsey, Matt Tyman, who said it built confidence and self-reflection.

He said: “I have never seen students grow as much as these students have in one day. Seeing students who find social environments hard stand up and talk in front of their peers from their hearts has inspired me.”

Chichester District Council leader Tony Dignum said the scheme inspired ‘disengaged young people’ and he looked forward to seeing the difference it would make over the coming months.