Community-Apprentice film takes centre stage at Cabinet Office event

Yesterday, at a Cabinet Office celebration of youth social action, a packed audience put their hands together for Community-Apprentice team, Team Hopeseekers, moved by their short film on the plight of refugees (click above to view).

Rob Wilson, Minister of Civil Society was particularly impressed by the tenacity of the students. Speaking immediately after watching the film he said: “Before I entered Parliament I ran my own businesses, so I know what it’s like to take an idea and make it a reality. But pitching to the West Midlands’ equivalent of Lord Sugar? I’m not sure I could do it.”

The young changemakers also grabbed the attention of Dame Julia Cleverdon (Founder of the campaign Step Up To Serve). She chose to stay behind to talk to the group, who had travelled to London from Handsworth Wood Girls School in Birmingham.

She explained that she wants to get more social action happening in schools and asked the girls why they had decided to get involved.

For Rupinder, it was a simple one word answer “Kitty”.  Kitty is their Envision Co-ordinator and Shameela explained: “Kitty was just really great when she came to do an assembly.  She had loads of energy and got us playing interactive games to express what we care about.  Also we have a different kind of relationship with her from our teachers.  Our teachers are really great when it comes to teaching, but Kitty from Envision helps us to turn our own ideas into reality and I think that’s a different kind of thing.”

Jennie Butterworth, Envision CEO, described the Community-Apprentice model as being "a bit like Teach First. We recruit and train energetic young graduates who give a service year going into schools to inspire and support young people to develop social action projects.  Schools tell us that they really need this additional capacity and this is a really cost-effective way to provide it.  But it’s also really great to hear that they are the key to making it work directly from young people."

Left to right: Envision Co-ordinator Kitty, Shameela Begum, Dame Julia Cleverdon, Safia Shire, Rupinder Dhillon