Last week, Future First’s Partnership Director, Charlie Ledley was interviewed by Laura James from North Devon radio station, The Voice FM, on the topic of role models and building volunteer alumni networks in Primary schools in the region. Future First is currently working with Great Torrington Bluecoat Primary School in Devon and the local radio station invited Charlie to explain more about the work and put a call out to potential volunteers in the Great Torrington area to get in touch.
Charlie described how Future First is looking to build a thriving and engaged alumni community in Devon to help encourage and motivate the children to grow their aspirations and how the charity is adapting their offer during the pandemic.
Charlie explained that much of this work is done remotely, which can suit volunteers: “Actually, it’s enabling a lot more people to support their former schools because they don’t have to take that time to go into school, so in the last few months we’ve supported lots of schools with remote resources around building resilience and confidence and created case studies for schools to use during virtual delivery.”
Charlie went on to explain that anyone can be a role model and inspire today’s pupils with their stories.
Also last week, BBC Radio Cornwall picked up on Future First’s release on tackling the problem of NEETs in Cornwall – a response to research commissioned by Cornwall Council and the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) which highlighted the need for young people at risk of becoming NEET, to have access to inspiring and appropriate role models.
Julie Skentelbery interviewed Alumni Programme Manager, Naomi Barker, who works with a third of all schools and colleges in the region, about Future First’s experience with building alumni networks, promoting the use of role models and its mission to extend its work in Cornwall.
Naomi spoke about the perceptions many young people have about themselves, which can sometimes lead to negative cycles and increased risk of NEET: “So often, one of the key challenges for young people is confidence, if you speak to a young person they’ll often say they have no skills [so] I think really highlighting the skills they have in relation to their interests can help. One example I always use is how playing video games online with your friends can actually help you develop teamwork skills – not discrediting the things they are interested in, but helping them to identify the skills they already have.”
Listen to the full interview here.