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Businesses urged to Be the Change for disengaged youngsters

A pilot launch for an innovative programme designed to transform the lives of disengaged school children will kick off at Crystal Palace Football Club on Thursday, September 22.

StartUp Croydon is proud to be supporting the ground-breaking Be the Change programme, which has already helped to improve the life chances of hundreds of youngsters in Sussex. It is being brought to the borough by local jobs board, part of the family, and social enterprise humanutopia.

Be the Change is aimed at Year 9 students who may be struggling at school due to lack of confidence or disengagement with their learning and focuses on happiness, confidence, hope, relationships and employability to help them identify and overcome their barriers to success.

Business leaders are being invited to attend the pilot event with organisers hoping they will be inspired to support the unique programme, which bridges the gap between young people and their potential future employers.

Be the Change

Rosanna Farrar, head of partnerships and events at, said: “Be the Change was created in 2015 in response to five years’ worth of feedback from employers about recruitment challenges and the gaps they were experiencing in their talent pipelines.

Be the Change is designed to positively impact and shape the future workforce at the same times as offering businesses a fantastic opportunity to make a tangible, measurable and life-changing difference to local young people.

“We are working with 13 and 14 year olds because that is a pivotal age where the life choices they make can have a major effect on their employability in the future.

“Our full programme has already had enormous success in several areas of Sussex and we are incredibly excited to be holding this pilot event, which will make a real difference to young people in Croydon.”

Nine Croydon schools will be taking part in the pilot event, at which students will be invited to discuss their perceived barriers success and share their views, day-to-day issues and concerns with business volunteers from across the Borough. Youngsters from Archbishop Tenison, Harris City Academy, Meridian High School, Oasis Shirley Park, Quest Academy, Riddlesdown Collegiate, St Andrew’s Church of England High School, Thomas More Catholic School and Virgo Fidelis Convents School will be asked what changes they might need to consider in order to be successful.

Founding partners of, Harris Global, LV=, StartUpCroydon and White Label Creative are backing the Be the Change initiative, which is being sponsored by the University of Sussex and the Careers & Enterprise Company, with extra support from The Body Shop, Crystal Palace Football Club, Crystal Palace FC Foundation, Croydon MET Police and Croydon Commitment.

Katharine Glass, director of White Label Creative, said: “Working closely with many other Croydon businesses, we have become increasingly aware of the gaps in the talent pipeline and this is a great way of bridging that gap as well as improving the life chances and employability of some of our talented young people.”

David Robinson, chairman of StartUp Croydon – a Croydon Business Venture, added: “Having had so much success on the south coast, what LoveCroydonJobs and humanutopia are now bringing to Croydon is absolutely inspirational and we are delighted to be supporting it.”

To find out more about Be the Change, visit

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