Business leaders motivate school pupils to make a difference

Business leaders took part in an all-day interactive workshop at Eastbury Community College in Barking on Wednesday 26 April, to help give young students the opportunity to realise their potential.

Bridging the Gap to Success had been organised by Business in the Community, funded by the Ford Britain Trust and was hosted by HumanUtopia, who deliver life-changing school workshops.

Jane Skerry, Executive Director, HR, Ford of Britain and Ford Britain Trust Trustee said: “The Ford Britain Trust is delighted to be working with Business in the Community on educational and sustainable community initiatives such as the Bridging the Gap to Success, HumanUtopia programme. Programmes such as these will hopefully have a lasting positive impact on young people, helping them to develop the necessary skills and confidence to take advantage of the exciting opportunities ahead of them.”

Students from Eastbury Community School, Robert Clack Comprehensive School, and Barking Abbey School, took part in a day of interactive and engaging activities to improve their confidence, raise their aspirations and develop their soft skills. The event challenged students to be honest about what they wanted for their future, helping them to understand their own individual qualities and the qualities required to be successful in business and the workplace.

The event was supported by local business volunteers from Ford, GCU London, McKinsey, and Brewin Dolphin, as well as Business in the Community ‘Business Connectors’ from the local area.

Ruth Michelle Cawthorne, Head of Operations, GCU London said: “We had the opportunity and pleasure to work with a number of pupils to discuss how they could change their story, move forward with confidence, maturity and belief in themselves. By the end of this event the young people could see that they had the power and potential to build their own successful future. The day was truly extraordinary as, before our eyes the pupils arrived as kids and left as young adults.”

One student from Eastbury Community College commented: “After today I’ve got more confidence. The business mentors talked about how their journey in life changed. They talked about the ways they had to change. The day has been really beneficial and it’s great how you can change nothing into something.”

Taking place during Responsible Business Week, the event was part of an annual awareness week run by Business in the Community to inspire and challenge more businesses to take action which creates positive change in society.

This is the first of three HumanUtopia workshops to take place in the Barking and Dagenham area over the next few months. Organised by Business in the Community the events aim to reach over 300 students in need of additional support in the area.

Watch the Bridging the Gap to Success video