New Scheme to Boost Teens’ Career Prospects in Hastings and Rother

An inspirational programme to help young people fulfill their potential and improve their life chances was launched with 90 school students from local secondary schools on Tuesday, March 22, at Bannatyne’s Hotel, Hastings.Be the Change, Hastings March 2016

Be the Change was developed by and humanutopia to raise the confidence and aspirations of 13 and 14 year olds by identifying and removing barriers to success and focussing on happiness, confidence, hope, relationships and employability.  Over the coming months the students will engage in several activities with their peers and business mentors, including a work place visit. 

At the launch event, the students and business volunteers took part in activities led by humanutopia’s founders, Carlo Missirian and Graham Moore. Both are 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 ARK Helenswood Academy, ARK William Parker Academy, Robertsbridge Community College, Rye College, St Richard’s Catholic College and The St Leonards Academy.  

Vanessa Gall, Student Support Manager at Rye College, commented: “Wow, what a fantastic day! My students were fully engaged and participated with all the activities which, with some of the students, came as a wonderful surprise to me! The ‘Be the Change’ team were amazing and connected with all the students on a very personal level. I definitely think this programme will increase self-esteem and raise aspirations.”

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 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 Hastings 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 Hastings programme is a collaboration between and humanutopia with support from Hastings Borough Council, Sussex Learning Network, University of Brighton, Heart FM and 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.”  

Cllr Dawn Poole, Hasting Borough Council’s lead member for regeneration, added: “We are very pleased to support Be the Change. Providing opportunities and enabling young people to develop skills and qualifications they need for better futures is imperative. We look forward to the future success of the scheme and to see aspirations raised in the young people of Hastings”. 

Picture caption: Students from schools in Hastings and Rother at the launch of “Be the Change”                                                                                                                                               

Further information from Rose Farrar on 07977 079496 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.

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