A group of Crawley school children have been given a unique insight into office life, thanks to a programme involving major local employer People’s Partnership1.

The Year 9 pupils at Hazelwick School, Three Bridges, are being mentored by workers from the not-for-profit provider of The People’s Pension as part of the Dare to Dream programme.
Dare to Dream is a programme created by the LoveLocalJobs Foundation Community Interest Company (CIC)2, which aims to support the self-awareness, resilience, employability skills and wellbeing of young people.

This year’s Crawley programme in partnership with Crawley Borough Council has involved five schools and nearly 1,100 pupils aged 13 and 14 from across the Crawley borough. A total of 300 youngsters at Hazelwick have benefited from special assemblies while a hand-picked group of 15 pupils have been mentored by five members of staff at People’s Partnership, who work in a variety of departments such as IT, customer service, sales and marketing.

People’s Partnership, which provides The People’s Pension to six million savers across the country, is an established supporter of Dare to Dream, and also offers apprenticeships for roles its customer service team.

Nicola Sinclair, Head of Responsible Business at People’s Partnership, said:

“At People’s Partnership, we have a real focus on helping our employees to develop by offering initiatives like apprenticeships and providing training for qualifications, so it’s fantastic that we’re also able to help students in the local community start thinking about their career.

“As an organisation that was founded for social good and is committed to help make a difference to our local community, we’re delighted to have been asked to help nurture the talent of tomorrow.”

The group recently visited People’s Partnership’s Manor Royal headquarters, where they spent time with the customer services team and met with the Chief Executive Officer Patrick Heath-Lay.
Commenting on the benefits of the programme, Dave Leadbitter, Deputy Headteacher at Hazelwick School, said:

“The programme is important, because when students are in Year 9, they are at a key stage of their education. To have someone come in to reinforce important messages and mentors to give them real world experience, means a huge amount and is very beneficial to the students.”

Media personality Jack ‘the Lad’ Hayes, Head of Programme Delivery for Dare to Dream, said:

“One of the amazing things about Dare to Dream is not just the effect it has on students and the way they see their futures but the effect it has on the mentors as the ones who work so closely with the students. Many mentors tell us what a positive impact it has had on them both personally and professionally through their participation and that makes my job even more rewarding.”

Earlier this month, it was revealed how People’s Partnership donated nearly £20,000 to pay for six wheelchairs for Crawley Jets Wheelchair Rugby Team. It supports other local good causes such as Crawley Open House and every year staff choose a charity to support, with the most recent beneficiary being The Olive Tree Cancer Support Centre.