Be the Change Brighton, launch conference Feb 2016

Be the Change, Brighton Feb 2016

The inspirational programme for BRIGHTON to help young people fulfil their potential and improve their life chances was launched for local school students on Wednesday, February 24, at the American Express Community Stadium.

Some 120 Year Nine students from the 12 secondary schools in Brighton and Hove are taking part in ‘Be the Change’, a detailed programme focussing on raising the confidence and aspirations of 13 and 14 year olds.  Over the course of the school year the students will come together with business volunteers on five occasions, including a workplace visit.

A collaboration between us ( and humanutopia; the programme focusses on happiness, confidence, hope, relationships & employability – identifying and removing barriers to success and raising aspirations of students.

The launch activity was led by humanutopia’s founders, Carlo Missirian and Graham Moore, both former teachers who understand the challenges facing young people today. They 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. We believe in putting people first, and the ‘Be the Change’ programme is a perfect vehicle to work in partnership to help young people develop the qualities and qualifications they need for a better future. Working with corporate volunteers and the invaluable support and belief of local businesses and universities, adds a further dimension and depth to the engagement and journey the young people will experience.”

The schools involved in the programme are Cardinal Newman, Dorothy Stringer, Hove Park, Longhill, PACA, BACA, Varndean, Patcham High, Blatchington Mill School, King’s School, Shoreham Academy and Sir Robert Woodard Academy.  Mark Monahan, Assistant Principal.  Sir Robert Woodard Academy, said: “It was an amazing event that encouraged students to move out of their comfort zones.  Hugely emotional and engaging from the beginning.  The only shame is that we cannot have ALL students participating.  Brilliant.”

The idea for ‘Be the Change’ came from Gary Peters, Founder of  He said: “We believe that ‘Be the Change’ has the power to dramatically improve lives.  David Cameron said last month that there are around 25,000 pupils about to start their GCSEs who are at-risk of under-achieving or dropping out and that he wants businesses to mentor at-risk teenagers. Well, this is exactly what we are doing right here in Sussex in collaboration with local employers, universities and local authorities.”

There are three ‘Be the Change’ programmes rolling out across East and West Sussex over the coming months.  The Brighton and Hove programme is a collaboration between, Humanutopia, Sussex Learning Network, Brighton & Hove City Council, Coast to Capital LEP, The Careers and Enterprise Company, Heart FM and University of Sussex, along with support from local businesses.

Sarah Williams, Director of Sussex Learning Network, said: “The Sussex Learning Network is delighted to be sponsoring the Be the Change programme right across Sussex this year – it’s providing a fantastic opportunity for our educational partners to engage with young people in a really innovative and inspiring way, and we hope to be able to continue to support the programme for years to come.” 

Georgina Angele, Enterprise Co-ordinator at Coast to Capital, added: “Business demand for specific skills and qualifications changes fast, so having local employers helping to inform and shape the careers and enterprise strategies, the curriculum and to bring their businesses into classrooms is the key to success; both for young people and the region’s businesses.”

For more information about Be the Change and how you can get involved, please contact Rose Farrar at on 01273 65100 or                                                                                                                         


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.

Photo caption: Business mentor Kelly Butler from Brighton & Hove County Council, and the students are from Cardinal Newman and Blatchington Mill.

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