As this year draws to a close, it is likely that we will all be glad to see the back of 2020, a year like no other, full of uncertainty, challenge, fear and sadness.
At the same time, this year has also seen great examples of leadership; people and communities pulling together to support one another in times of greatest need, businesses and schools embracing new technologies and finding new ways to create connections.
Despite the challenges of the year, we have yet again been inspired by the businesses and young people we work with who have dug deep to reach new heights , touched our hearts and inspired our minds, and showed that leadership really does come in all shapes and sizes.
Bright Stars Switch from Making A Profit to Making A Difference
Working with our business partners and schools we have reimagined Bright Stars 2021 to ensure we can still provide inspiring opportunities for primary school pupils. The focus has shifted from making a profit to ‘Making a Difference’ with the children asked to choose a cause or issue that matters to them and create a campaign to bring about change or improvement.
Schools and young people are really embracing the idea of ‘Making a Difference’ because it empowers the children to bring about positive change. Working together to make things better really does seem very appropriate right now and we are confident the children will rise to the challenge with the help of their business partners.
A record number of companies have chosen to fund and take part in Bright Stars this year, which means we can involve even more primary schools, over 30 schools across Cumbria. Local MPs have also voiced their support for the children in personal video messages.
Although the initial lockdown meant that our Primary Business Partnership aspiration sessions were temporarily grounded, that didn’t stop business volunteers inspiring primary pupils through gardening competitions, compiling cookery books, virtual showcases of medical careers. Volunteers are now able to participate in online aspiration sessions, ‘visiting’ local primary schools through the magic of MS Teams! The sky’s the limit for Cumbrian primary school pupils.
Young people have been hard hit by the COVID pandemic with huge disruption to their education and jobs, training and work experience opportunities disappearing or being put on hold.
Worried that Cumbrian teenagers would miss out on vital work awareness programmes (as well as exams, school proms, festivals and university) CfLP have been collaborating with local businesses who have stepped in to provide a series of first class experiences for over 300 14-24 years olds, using technology to connect with an even wider group of young people across the county.
After some late nights, head-scratching and the development of fresh ideas, ProjX, Dream Placement and Cumbria Future Leaders are all underway, with the county’s young people adding digital communication to their skill set. They have been collaborating online with multi-disciplinary organisations to build their confidence and develop team building, communication, planning and leadership skills. Students have come together with employees from a range of Cumbrian businesses which explore a range of careers and gain a brighter view of their future.
The news that Adrienne Easterbrook won’t be there to welcome us back to Energus come the New Year is still hard to accept. She was a truly exceptional human being; a shining light on the West Cumbria coast whose sparkle reached hundreds of young people, countless local businesses and of course her very own Energus team. We will be raising a glass to Adrienne over the Christmas period, please join us in celebrating a life too short but full of Cumbrian magic.
We are excited to announce the launch of our new website! Please take a look around and give us your views through our new chat function.
Following a series of online development events for all the young people who applied for Dream Placement, 34 students have secured Dream Placements with host companies, which will take place in February half term, 2021.
We look forward to keeping in touch with all the amazing young people who applied this year through the Cumbria Future Leaders network.
Leader 2 Leader- Bursary applications now live for cohort 13 and 14!
We have teamed up with Sellafield Ltd and One AIM to provide bursaries for local leaders to enable them to take part in an eight-month development programme. Bursaries are available for leaders from small business and third sector leaders in Copeland and Allerdale.