Brighton School Students Celebrate Success at Awards Ceremony

The achievements of 80 students from Brighton & Hove schools were commended at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, June 28 at the University of Sussex.

BtC Brighton awards

The event was the grand finale to the Be the Change programme, an initiative to boost the aspirations and job prospects of young people aged between 13 and 14. Over the last four months the students have been taking part in a series of activities designed to improve hope, happiness, confidence, relationships, to change negative behaviour and to introduce them to job and career opportunities.

The students were congratulated and awarded certificates by the programme’s co-founders, Carlo Missirian and Graham Moore from the social enterprise humanutopia. 

Carlo said: “It has been an incredible journey not just for these brave young people, but for everyone who has been involved – the teachers, the business volunteers and ourselves.  Over the last few months we have been inspired by the way in which the students have engaged with us and their peers and as a result have become happier, more confident of their abilities and excited about their futures. We have thoroughly enjoyed working in partnership with to create the powerful Be the Change programme'.”

The students come from 10 secondary schools in the city: Cardinal Newman Catholic School, Dorothy Stringer School, Hove Park School, Longhill High School, Portslade Aldridge Community Academy (PACA), Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA), Varndean School, Patcham High School, Blatchington Mill School and Sir Robert Woodard Academy. 

Gary Peters, MD of and co-founder of Be the Change said: “It’s a harsh world out there for young people and many of the students on Be the Change have already had to face challenges that most of us couldn’t imagine.  Our aim is to help them to value both themselves and other people and to develop skills which will enable them to take responsibility for their lives and ambitions.” 

The inclusion manager at BACA commented: “Taking part in the Be the Change’Programme has given the students more confidence, more resilience and the ability to talk to people. It has also reduced challenging behaviour amongst these pupils and I just wish that more students could take part!” 

Be the Change Brighton & Hove is a collaboration between and humanutopia, supported by Sussex Learning Network, University of Sussex, Brighton and Hove City Council, Heart FM, Coast to Capital LEP and The Careers & Enterprise Company.  In addition, volunteers from 20 local businesses have provided mentoring and opportunities for work place visits to the young people.

Sarah Williams, Director of Sussex Learning Network, said: “Be the Change is a really innovative way to inspire and support vulnerable young people to be the best they can be and I have no doubt that for most of the students, this experience has been life changing.  Sussex Learning Network is delighted to have sponsored ‘Be the Change’ and we hope to be able to continue to support the programme for years to come.” 

The final word goes to a student from Blatchington Mill School who said: “I just want to thank you for everything you have done for me. I don’t think you realise how much you have changed my life and helped me see a future. I’m making a promise that I am going to put my head down and work so that I can get work experience with you and in the future, and when I get my own money, I will put it into ‘Be the Change’ as I believe it will succeed!” 

Picture captions:

Be the Change Brighton Awards Ceremony 1:  Students from Sir Robert Woodard Academy at the ‘Be the Change’ Brighton award ceremony

Be the Change Brighton Awards Ceremony 2: Students and business volunteers celebrate at the ‘Be the Change’ Brighton award ceremony

Further information from Julie Causton at Cobb PR on 01323 416999 or
and Rose Farrar at on 07977 079496 or

About is a family of jobs boards that works in partnership with businesses, local authorities, universities, colleges, schools, charities and community groups in cities, towns and districts across Sussex and the south east.  It comprises six regional jobs boards:,,,, and As well as these jobs boards we have a further four careers advice and guidance sites, which have been designed by young people for young people with the help and support of local business mentors. 

About humanutopia
humanutopia is a social enterprise 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 has worked with over 200,000 young people, 200 schools, 25,000 adults and 20,000 heroes. | @humanutopia |

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