Students from Bexhill came together last week to continue the Be the Change programme sponsored by Hastings Direct, in partnership with and social enterprise humanutopia.

Meeting at the Hastings Centre, year 9 students from Bexhill Academy became ‘Heroes’ to year 6 children from Glenleigh Park Primary Academy and King Offa Primary Academy. Together they followed an exploration into the development of life skills such as communicating with others, working within groups and understanding the effect of behaviour.

Tackling issues that asked the students to push themselves out of their comfort zones, the 13 and 14 year olds were encouraged to mix with peers they would not usually choose to interact with. They were encouraged to make conversation with the adult business mentors and explore the benefits of taking these skills forward into their working life, as well as the importance to adopt them in their personal lives.

Trudy Hillman, Assistant Principal, Bexhill Academy said; “It’s great to see the difference the Be the Change programme is once again making to our year 9 students at Bexhill Academy. It’s fantastic to watch the year 9s grow and see how they push themselves to go outside of their comfort zones and develop skills they can take forward into their life after school. I was extremely impressed to see their maturity when becoming ‘heroes’ to the year 6 student and taking the lead to guide the youngsters through the afternoon’s activities.”

Jay Wootten, Community Relations Manager, Hastings Direct said; “It was testament to both the students and teachers to see the maturity of the pupils from three different Bexhill schools at the Be the Change event. They all came together to mentor and help each other in the education journey that lays ahead of them.”

Be the Change aims to raise the aspirations of year 9 students (aged 13-14), helping them to remove barriers that may make them disengaged at school and provide them with life skills to take into the future.

Speaking directly to the students throughout the day, Graham Moore, Co-founder, humanutopia reflected; “The Be the Change Heroes event for Bexhill was an amazing day. It was great to see the positive attitude and maturity of the year 9 students from Bexhill Academy as they conducted themselves with dignity and a sense of pride in who they are. They showed responsibility and trust beyond their years when the students from Glenleigh Park and King Offa joined them. The business volunteers from Hastings Direct again offered trusted guidance and support to the young people and they should be proud of the difference they are making.”

Rosanna Farrar, Head of Partnerships and Events, said; ‘We are extremely proud of our partnership with Hastings Direct and the way in which they have embraced our Be the Change programme. They work with us to guarantee the maximum positive impact on local students, whilst offering their employees this unique chance to give back to the local community and to grow and develop on both a personal and professional level.”