Bexhill academy students graduate from Be the Change initiative

20th July 2016

Students from Bexhill have graduated from the inspiring Be the Change programme sponsored by Hastings Direct and delivered by LoveLocalJobs.com and Humanutopia.

Year 9 pupils from Bexhill Academy came together this week to complete the inspirational programme. The 120 students celebrated their journey with 30 business volunteers from Hastings Direct, course leaders from Humanutopia and Lovelocaljobs.com, teachers and mayor of Bexhill, Cllr Simon Elford.

Receiving certificates and Be the Change ribbons from the mayor, students applauded each other and reflected on the past year. Many students stood in front of the gathered audience and revealed their feelings about moving forward with the skills they have learnt.

Cllr Elford said, "It's been amazing to meet all the students at Bexhill Academy on the Be the Change programme. I found it a struggle when I left school but I found inner confidence and became proud of myself. I wish I had this type of programme to help guide my decisions when I was 13 years old! I wish all the students the best of luck in the future."

Jay Wootten, Hastings Direct's CSR and events executive commented, "The Be the Change graduation was another really positive event to be part of; to hear the plans of the students for the future was very humbling and refreshing. It is clear that the Be the Change programme has made a big difference to all involved — which is great to see."

Trudy Hillman, assistant principal at Bexhill Academy said; "Be The Change has been a fantastic programme for our Year 9 students. As well as developing their own confidence, self-esteem and resilience, the students have had to face new experiences that prepare them for the world of employment. Working with adult mentors, reflecting on their own behaviours and work place visits has had a significant and potentially lasting impact. Bexhill Academy look forward now to seeing some of our students support next year's Be The Change programme, and using their skills to support our younger students throughout the school."

Speaking to the audience, a year 9 student told us; "Be the Change has helped me be more confident in my learning. It's also helped my life at home — I used to be rude to my Mum but now I feel more in control, I've gained more strength and more respect and feel proud of what I've achieved."

Rosanna Farrar, Lovelocaljob.com added; "We have been overwhelmed by the success of the Be the Change programme at Bexhill Academy. It was incredible to see the positive changes made and the difference in so many of the students. Hastings Direct should be so proud of the impact they have had on so many young people."

Graham Moore and Carlo Missirian, Co-Founders of Humanutopia said; "Hastings Direct is the only company to fully support a 'Be the Change' programme as a lead sponsor and has decided to support the wonderful community of Bexhill Academy. Through this engagement, the company and their hugely committed volunteers have helped to support the young people with developing skills in hope, confidence, happiness relationships and employability. It also has given the students an insight into working life for a large successful national company that sits within their community. Bexhill Academy has also embraced supported the programme ensuring that the students have access to this unique opportunity".

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