Be the change students visit Hastings Direct

19th April 2016

Students from Leicester came together this week to continue the inspirational Be the Change Programme sponsored by Hastings Direct, and delivered by and Humanutopia.

Hastings Direct welcomed students from Bexhill Academy into their head office last week as part of the Be the Change education initiative. Continuing the inspirational programme, the year 9s gained a valuable insight into the business world as they toured various departments and listened to business volunteers from Hastings Direct, who have been mentoring the students, talk about their specialist areas.

Arriving at Conquest House bright and early, the students were welcomed by Hastings Direct CEO, Gary Hoffman and given an overview of the company and the importance of Be the Change. Guided around by the business volunteers, the 14 year olds visited many departments including digital and marketing, claims, customer services finance and Hastings Direct’s eatery, 'Harry’s Bar'.

Be The Change, which is sponsored by Hastings Direct and delivered by and social enterprise Humanutopia, aims to raise the aspirations of year 9 students helping them to remove barriers that may make them disengaged at school and provide them with life skills to take into the future and their working life.

Hasting Direct’s business volunteers went on to visit the Be the Change students at Bexhill Academy the following day to catch up and discuss their feelings about the course and their own personal development. Encouraging the students to revisit the areas they wanted to improve — such as confidence, respect and improving relationships — most said they felt a definite improvement.

Robin Sewell, a Hastings Direct business volunteer, said of the students he has been working with: "Catching up today with the four students I've now mentored for the last five months has been really insightful. They told me that they felt the year group has positively changed and one student felt that the programme had made a big impact on her and improved her confidence so much so, she's now able to speak to large groups — something she was too frightened to do before. All my students said they'd made new friends from the programme — which is a real positive of the overall initiative."

For more information on Be the Change — visit

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About Humanutopia

Humanutopia is a social business that creates and runs inspirational courses in schools for students and staff. Their courses are based on personal, social and workplace skills development, and improve the hope, confidence, happiness, relationships, and employability of participating students. Over the last 11 years Humanutopia have worked with over 200,000 young people, 200 schools, 25,000 adults and 20,000 heroes.

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